There was a young fellow named Lear
Who invented Limericks, we hear,
so now we converse
in humorous verse
on Limerick Day every year
Named for the Irish city of Limerick, this much loved verse form was popularised by Edward Lear (not invented alas, but ‘popularise’ didn’t scan…) and could date back as much as five hundred years. Its distinctive metre and AABBA rhyming scheme lend themselves well to nonsense verse, and so Limericks are often childish or obscene. The best ones tend to be both.
Why not celebrate Limerick Day this year with a copy of Edward Lear’s original 1846 opus, ‘A Book of Nonsense’, and recite all 72 of his Limericks to your astounded family, friends and colleagues? Alternatively, make up some of your own! All it takes is some spare time, a sense of rhythm and a warped or filthy imagination.