Brianna Lam
April 11, 2014

Having only two feet of three syllables, the standard form of a limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second, and fifth rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables; and the shorter third and fourth lines also rhyming with each other. With the place appearing at the end of the first line and establishing the rhyme scheme for the second and fifth line, the first line traditionally introduces a person and a place. Although this is no longer customary, in early limericks, the last line was often essentially a repeat of the first line. Which may be revealed in the final line or lie in the way the rhymes are often intentionally tortured, or both, the most prized limericks incorporate a kind of twist. Some form or internal rhyme, alliteration, or assonance, or some element of word play, show in many limericks. For this type of poem, the origin of the name limerick is debated.  

"An Attempt"
by: Somanathan Iyer

"I tried in vain attempting on my maiden limerick

Luck not taking my side and I was feeling sick
Holding a stick a naughty boy found doing some tricks
Scolding the boy a haughty man grabbed his stick
In a flash I finished limerick without any nick"