Jest for Pun logo Care & Feeding 
of the Limerick? 

Verse footing of eights or of nines,
Tripping lightly up and down spines,
With bridges of five
Or six stay alive,
Till chuckles fall from the punch lines.

The secret to lines anapestic
Is not poetry so majestic,
But feet eight or nines
In three of five lines,
While five or six feet make the rest tick.

The classic limerick was naughty
Created by poet who thought he
Could twist all his words
Like whey from the curds,
But cheesy thoughts made him seem dotty.

The Limerick's a beast, so I fed it.
Verse after verse without an edit.
Papa's upset with pun,
Without which life's no fun,
So take a deep breath, give some credit.

Chris urges Sid to the scansion
This form is like to a stanchion.
Like standing in muck
And only with luck
Does verse reach final expansion.

The limerick's double intention
Is oft not an easy invention.
The scansion must look
As though by the book,
For there we can brook no dissension.

The use of puns indefensible,
One tries for something more sensible.
Puns go through the fence
And sometimes make sense.
You see, puns are really not fence-able.

I'm glad that you're not put upon
A little bon mot to sup on.
The corn pone or hash,
Even succotash
Work where others have up'n gone.

Be careful in squeezing those puns
The yield from such fruit gives one runs.
The juice may ferment
Producing dement
Or visions of multiple suns.

Synaptic connections semantic
Confuse minds often so frantic.
The secret one sees
Is "flow with the breeze."
Words play like children so antic.

Of words you should be a twister,
As good as even my sister
Out there in the rain
With mold on the brain;
Not right, not clearly sinister.

There was an old man from the sticks
Who tried hard to write limericks.
He failed at the sport;
He wrote them too short.

There was a young doctor of skin
Who verses of limerick did pin. (pen)
He failed at the sport;
He wrote 'em too short;
Wrote quatrains instead of trains quin.

Yeah, I know, bad limericist,
But you know whose fault this all ist.
Despite faulty grammar
And meter quite hammer'd,
The feet are not crossed but are crissed.

If meter and feet have you lost,
Fear not, there's little or no cost.
Certainly quite cheap
Puns without a peep
Follow rolling stones, so not mossed.

Because there is no screen so wifely,
Some verses appear blue and strifely.
Oft with words off hue
And tales so untrue,
The limerick is thus more lifely.

These lines, I am sure, are stretching
Your patience to points of wretching,
But please do forebear.
A good chance for air
Follows when lines are more fetching.

You've got the rhyme really neat,
The next thing to get is the beat,
The scansion is easy,
The meter is breezy,
The product, a limerick complete!

Congrats! you are just doing fine,
First try to get rhymes to align,
Then build better mansion,
And work on the scansion,
Remember to drop me a line.

Nice sounding stanzas, my dear Phyllis.
The agent you've described may kill us
Or give rise to things
With great blossomings,
As virus of roots amyrillus.

Rhythm of limerick infectious
Sometimes makes friends insurrectious.
They could be revolting,
It sounds like they're molting,
With groans, hoots and ugh's just to vex us.

The limerick pattern of Lear
Is easily followed, no fear,
Just keep beats rolling,
As feet go strolling,
Then rhythms you will start to hear.

Three stresses for first line rhyme one
And again, three stresses rhyme won.
Two stresses, rhyme 2,
Who stresses, rhyme too,
We finish, three stresses, rhyme fun.

If rhyme you often are pondering
Not far from here in your wandering
You'll come to the end.
It's just round the bend
Where words like stiffs here lie maundering.

Fear not, I bring you the ending,
'Cause more words cannot be blending
In doggerel rhyme,
For now it is time
To wrap these bon mots for sending.

Ciao, dosvedanya, mazeltov!
Tahtah, see you soon, well I'm off,
Auf wiedersehen,
Goodbye, come again,
Sayonara, bon chance, au revoirff.

Copyright Chris Papa and Dan Ford

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Chris and Dan are Partners-in-Rhyme. Not only do they teach you a word a day with the help of limericks but often their discussions with contributing authors is also in limerick form. They have guided quite a few newcomers (like me) along and the above are bits of lymerickal advice from them on the care and feeding of your limericks. (To subscribe send a plain text message to with the following message:   subscribe Partners-In-Rhyme    in the body of your mail) 

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