National Limerick Day, held on the 12th of May every year, was set up to celebrate the birth of Edward Lear, the poet who popularized limericks with his 1846 collection The Book of Nonsense. But what are limericks exactly? And how do you write a limerick? Let\u2019s take a look!\r\nWhat Are Limericks?\r\nA limerick is a humorous \u2013 and sometimes ribald \u2013 five-line poem. The first, second, and fifth lines should rhyme with one another, while the third and fourth lines are shorter and rhyme together. For example:\r\nThere was an Old Man with a beard,\r\nWho said, "It is just as I feared!\u2014\r\n\u2060Two Owls and a Hen,\r\n\u2060Four Larks and a Wren,\r\nHave all built their nests in my beard!"\r\nThis is one of Edward Lear\u2019s famous limericks. Lear tended to repeat a word from earlier in the poem for the last line, but you can use another rhyming word, such as in this one by Spike Milligan:\r\nA man called Percival Lee\r\nGot up one night for a pee.\r\nWhen he got to the loo\r\nIt was quarter-to-two,\r\nAnd when he got back it was three.\r\nAs you can probably tell by now, limericks are often quite silly!\r\n3 Tips on How to Write a Limerick\r\nSo, how do you write a limerick? Check out our top three tips below.\r\n1. Use the AABBA Rhyme Scheme\r\nAs mentioned above, all limericks follow an AABBA rhyme scheme in which:\r\n\r\n\tThe 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines rhyme with each other (A).\r\n\tThe 3rd and 4th lines rhyme with each other but not the other lines (B).\r\n\r\nWe can see the rhyme scheme more clearly if we label it below:\r\nThere was an odd fellow named Gus, (A)\r\nWhen travelling he made such a fuss. (A)\r\nHe was banned from the train, (B)\r\nNot allowed on a plane, (B)\r\nAnd now travels only by bus. (A)\r\nAs you can see, all the (A) lines above rhyme (Gus, fuss, bus). But the (B) lines only rhyme with one another (train, plane).\r\n2. Line Length\r\nAs a rule, the lines in a limerick should be a certain length:\r\n\r\n\tThe 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines should be around 7 to 9 syllables.\r\n\tThe 3rd and 4th lines should be slightly shorter (5 to 7 syllables).\r\n\r\nThis can vary a little, though. The most important thing is that the rhyming lines include the same number of syllables as one another.\r\n3. Rhythm and Meter\r\nLimericks also follow a particular pattern:\r\n\r\n\tThe 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines should contain three stressed syllables.\r\n\tThe 3rd and 4th lines should contain two stressed syllables.\r\n\r\nTo illustrate this, we\u2019ll highlight the stressed syllables in the limerick above:\r\nThere was an odd fellow named Gus,\r\nWhen travelling he made such a fuss.\r\nHe was banned from the train,\r\nNot allowed on a plane,\r\nAnd now travels only by bus.\r\nThis pattern gives a limerick its "da DUM da da DUM da da DUM" rhythm!\r\nA Proofreading Limerick\r\nAnd to finish this blog post, we\u2019ve written a limerick about proofreading:\r\nThere was a young woman called Frida\r\nWho wanted to be a proofreader\r\nSo she learned punctuation\r\nOn her summer vacation\r\nAnd now she\u2019s an industry leader!\r\nSpeaking of industry leading proofreading services, if you ever need anyone to help you ensure a document (or even a collection of limericks) is error free, we have expert editors available 24\/7. Why not submit a sample document today and see how we could help?