Saturday, February 1, 2014
The limerick, a 5-line structure, is a popular form of short, humorous verse (nonsense verse), usually untitled. Often the limerick is somewhat bawdy, which one should be cautious about in contest poetry. The rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-a, and the dominant meter is anapestic. Lines 1, 2, and 5 contain 3 feet; lines 3 and 4 contain 2 feet. The characteristic rhythm of the limerick is demonstrated in the following illustration, in which / represents stress and u represents lack of stress.
Here's an example:
There was a young man so benighted,
he didn't know when he was slighted.
He went to a party
and ate just as hearty,
as though he'd been duly invited.