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... of the form of poetry referred to as Limerick poems can be traced back ... A line of verse using this meter; for example, ''Twas the night before Christmas, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Limericks

  • Edward Learandthe Limerick

Material property of the AR Dept. of Education
Distance Learning Center. It may be used for
non-profit, educational use only after contacting
the ADE DLC at http// ER
Edward Lear
  • Born May 12, 1812 near London
  • Died January 29, 1888 in San Remo (Italy)
  • Youngest of 21 children
  • Raised and educated at home by his oldest sister
  • Ann and Sarah, another sister read to him
    classical tales and modern poetry (the Romantic
    poets), and taught him to draw, especially
    natural subjects

Rejection and Illness
  • Edward's upbringing was entrusted to his sister
    Ann and Mrs. Lear had nothing more to do with it.
  • Young Edward resented his mother's rejection, but
    found all the love he needed in Ann.
  • He was first attacked by what he called 'the
    Demon', epilepsy, when he was five or six.
  • A few years later 'the Morbids', sudden changes
    of mood with bouts of acute depression, began.
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Later life partial blindness
  • When his eyesight began to fail, he focused on
    landscapes instead of detailed animals with his

  • Began supporting himself at 15 by drawing
  • At 10 worked at the London Zoo and published
    first work Illustrations of the Family of the
  • First book of colored drawings of parrots
    published in England
  • At 20 started working for the 13th Earl of Derby
  • Complete drawings of the Earls private menagerie
    (live animals for study or display) at Knowsley

First Rhymes
  • While working for the Earl of Derby he produced
    many of the rhymes contained in his first Book of
  • He wrote the zany verses and illustrated them for
    the children of the Earl

  • There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said, 'It
    is just as I feared!Two Owls and a Hen,Four
    Larks and a Wren,Have all built their nests in
    my beard!'

Limerick History
  • Variants of the form of poetry referred to as
    Limerick poems can be traced back to the
    fourteenth century English history.
  • Limericks were used in Nursery Rhymes and other
    poems for children.
  • Limericks were short, relatively easy to compose
    and questionable in content they were often
    repeated by beggars or the working classes in the
    British pubs and taverns of the fifteenth,
    sixteenth and seventh centuries.
  • The poets who created these limericks were
    therefore often drunkards!
  • Limericks were also referred to as dirty.

The Form
  • Limericks consist of five anapestic lines.
  • Lines 1, 2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables and
    rhyme with one another
  • Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and
    also rhyme with each other

Syllable Example
  • There was an Old Derry down Derry, (9a)
  • who loved to see little folks merry (9a)
  • So he made them a book, (6b)
  • and with laughter they shook (6b)
  • at the fun of Derry down Derry. (9a)

  • A metrical foot composed of two short syllables
    followed by one long one, as in the word
  • A line of verse using this meter for example,
    Twas the night before Christmas, when all
    through the house (Clement Clarke Moore).
  • An anapest (or anapaest) comprises two unstressed
    syllables and one stressed one for example,
    "unabridged," "intercede," "on the loose."

Tips for Writing Limericks
  • There is an easy way to remember the metre.
  • Recite out loud the first line of the old
    Christmas classic, 'Twas the night be-fore
    Christ-mas and all through the house. In this
    line you can hear the compelling beat da da DUM.
  • The rule is, you must stick to this metre in the
    composition of your limerick.
  • Said an ape as he swung by his tail,To his
    off-spring both fe-male and male     "From your
    off-spring, my dears,     In a cou-ple of
    years,May e-volve a pro-fess-or at Yale.

Tips for Writing Limericks
  • If a limerick does not flow easily when read out
    loud, something is probably wrong.
  • You will never get away with writing a limerick
    that does not rhyme.
  • There is a tradition regarding the opening line
    of a classic limerick.
  • The classic standard for a first line is to use
    it to identify a character, as in "There once was
    a fellow named Jake," or "A silly old man they
    called Ned"
  • Another use of the opening line is to identify a
    location, as in "There once was a gal from New

Tips for Writing Limericks
  • a good limerick must be clever.
  • The classic limericks starts with the
    introduction of a character, or identifies the
    location of an event or both within the first
    line, the next line might be used to identify a
    characteristic, an occupation, or some other
    feature of the character. The next two lines are
    a set up for the final line. A limerick is like a
    clever joke, holding the listeners' attention and
    then surprising them with the clever twist or
    turn in the punch line,
  • The only good limericks are those that end with a

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