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Welcome to Young Writers' free Poetry Glossary


What is a Limerick?

A limerick is often a funny poem with a strong beat. Limericks are very light hearted poems and can sometimes be utter nonsense. They are great for kids to both read and write as they are short and funny.

The Structure of a Limerick Poem

A Limerick consists of five lines.

The first line of a limerick poem usually begins with 'There was a....' and ends with a name, person or place.

The last line of a limerick is normally a little farfetched or unusual.

A limerick should have a rhyme scheme of aabba:

This means lines 1,2 and 5 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme.

Also, lines 1,2 and 5 should have 7 – 10 syllables and lines 3 and 4 should have 5 – 7 syllables.

An example of a Limerick Poem by famous poet Edward Lear

'There was an old man with a beard
Who said, 'It is just as I feared,
Two owls and a hen
A lark and a wren
Have all built their nests in my beard!'

Why don't you try writing a Limerick and enter it into one of our poetry competitions.

More poetry types below.

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Have you visited the rest of our website yet? There are lot more free resources such as poetry workshops, activities and games for young writers as well as lesson plans and themed packs for teachers - come have a look!

Please see below for other poetry types!
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