National Limerick Day is an annual observance that celebrates the limerick, a type of humorous poem that consists of five lines and a distinctive rhyming pattern. It is celebrated on May 12th every year in honour of the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear, who is famous for popularising the limerick in his 1846 book “A Book of Nonsense.”
On National Limerick Day, people are encouraged to read, write, and share limericks with their friends, family, and social media followers. The day is also an opportunity to celebrate the creativity and humour of the limerick and to recognise its cultural significance as a popular form of poetry.
National Limerick Day writing tips:
To write a limerick, follow these steps:
- 1. Choose a topic: Think of a subject for your limerick. It can be anything that you find interesting or amusing.
- 2. Determine the rhyme scheme: A limerick follows the rhyme scheme AABBA, meaning the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.
- 3. Write the first line: The first line of a limerick typically sets up the topic and establishes the rhyme scheme.
- 4. Write the second line: The second line should also rhyme with the first and continue to develop the topic.
- 5. Write the third and fourth lines: The third and fourth lines should also rhyme with each other and have a different rhythm than the first two lines. They typically contain the punchline or surprise twist.
- 6. Write the fifth line: The fifth line should rhyme with the first two lines and provide a satisfying conclusion to the limerick.
- 7. Revise and edit: Once you have written your limerick, read it aloud to make sure it flows well and makes sense. Revise and edit as needed.
Here’s an example of a limerick:
There once was a writer quite slick Whose task was to pen a limerick He scratched his head And then he said "This form is quite tricky to pick!"
Books worth reading:
- Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
- A Sackful of Limericks by Michael Palin
- The Limerick: 1700 examples with notes variants and index by Gershon Legman
If you had fun reading this, check out tips on storytelling for National Share-a-Story Month.