Limericks… are humorous verses. are made up of five lines. always rhyme. usually play with words.
There was an old man of Khartoum Who kept a tame sheep in his room, “To remind me,” he said, “Of someone who’s dead, But I never can recollect whom.”
Limericks have a very strict rhyme scheme (a pattern of rhyming). To figure out a rhyme scheme, each line is assigned a letter. Lines that rhyme with each other are assigned the same letter. New rhymes are given a new letter.
There was an old man of Madrid Who ate 65 eggs - yes, he did! When they asked, “Are you faint?” He replied, “No, I aint - But I don’t feel as well as I did!” So this limerick’s rhyme scheme is AABBA.
There was once a man of Bengal Who was asked to a fancy dress ball; He said, “Will I risk it And go as a biscuit” But a dog ate him up in the hall. So this limerick’s rhyme scheme is AABBA.
A rocket inventor named Bright Once travelled much faster than light. He started one day In the relative way And returned on the previous night. So all limericks’ rhyme schemes are AABBA.
Limericks also stress syllables in a particular pattern. All the words that we use in writing and speaking have syllables that we stress or accent. For example, in birthday and water, we stress the first syllable.
We also stress certain syllables in longer words. Elephant has a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. Understand is the opposite: two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable.
It’s important in limerick poetry to hear the stressed syllables. Look at the words on your paper. Together, let’s mark the stressed and unstressed syllables. ex am ple
Unstressed syllables get this mark: Stressed syllables get this mark: tornado stockade batter release tor na do stock ade bat ter re lease
nar ra tive opp o site rhy thm care less ly be tray Unstressed syllables get this mark: Stressed syllables get this mark: narrative opposite rhythm carelessly betray
Now it’s your turn… Continue with the second chart of words on the right of the page. Then choose at least FIVE words of your own to do in the chart at the bottom of the page.
Feeling the Rhythm… How are stressed and unstressed syllables used in writing limericks? Notice the syllable stresses in the limerick on the next slide.
There once was a girl named Maureen Who wished she were skinny and lean But she loved pizza pie, Pastrami on rye And ate till her plate was clean. Long lines have 3 stressed syllables. Short lines have 2.
There once was a boy named Drew. On candy he’d chomp and he’d chew To brush he forgot His teeth started to rot And now he just has a few. Long lines have 3 stressed syllables. Short lines have 2.
Your turn: mark the two remaining poems on your paper. Remember… Long lines should have 3 stressed syllables. Short lines should have 2 stressed syllables.