Everyone associates a Limerick with Ireland but did you know the first limericks appeared in England as early as the 18th century? May 12th is officially National Limerick Day and celebrates these silly but clever little poems.

In 1846, Edward Lear published the Book of Nonsense for children in which he wrote 72 limericks. Lear was well-known for his literary nonsense, but this book full of poetry prose and limericks even made adults smile. Thus, the limerick’s popularity of the took shape!

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How To Write A Limerick

A limerick is a light hearted Irish poem that is often humorous or bawdy. It is five lines long and follows AABBA pattern, meaning lines 1, 2 and 5 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme. The A lines are usually longer than the B lines. It has an anapest meter, represented as “ta ta TUM”.

Book of Nonsense

The first line usually introduces a person and place and the place is typically at the end as the rhyming word. The best types are the ones that incorporate a twist or play on words that is revealed in the final line. Below is a famous one from Edward Lear:

shamrocks

Named for the third largest city in Ireland, Limerick, these short poems began over 500 years ago as nursery rhymes. With the combination of a growing number of beggars, vast amounts of taverns in Ireland and good-natured Irish people, its popularity grew throughout pubs as Irish drinking songs that promoted merriment.

In order to celebrate this day, I decided to write a limerick of my own. Since OrnamentShop.com has a lot of Irish Santa Ornaments, I was inspired to write one about St. Nick! So, here is our Christmas limerick:

Jolly Gent

Write your own limerick on National Limerick Day! Choose an event today or someone you met and try your hand at writing a limerick. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is and they are guaranteed to make you smile. So, grab a Guinness beer, a pen and some friends together to come up with your own limerick. Hint: a limerick gets funnier and bawdier the more you drink!

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Want to celebrate National Limerick Day in a fun way? Get personalized Irish ornaments with your limerick on it!

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