Limerick Loving 101

Limerick loving 101

Limerick Loving – Rhymer’s Delight

If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing or reading a limerick before – this post is for you! In the next few days, right up to St. Patrick’s Day, visiting here will be like making your own private vacation to limerick land. Before getting to the poem, a bit of explanation may be in order.

There are many forms of poetry. The limerick usually arrives as a short, sweet, one stanza rhyme-fest following a very definite structure. Because of the rollicking nature of the rhyme, a limerick has a definite cadence when read aloud (one great way to enjoy poetry). It also often treats subject matter in humorous fashion, and historically has even known to be a bit bawdy. You can study more about that structure and see some examples here.

As often happens with writing, form remains open to interpretation and adaption (at least that’s what aspiring writers believe and practice). Have you ever taken a standard format, individualized it, and made it your own?

Limerick Loving – Single Stanzas into Story

Many limericks follow the description noted above – short, and saucy. However, when I took up keyboard to begin writing this form, words kept pouring out stanza after stanza. There often seemed a tale to be told, usually ending up with a moral or simple lesson, but almost never short and sweet (and most definitely not saucy). My light-hearted limericks wove themselves into mini-sagas.

This wasn’t a deliberate intent to subvert time-honored limerick hallmarks. It did however, quickly and consistently become my updated attempt to master the form while allowing personal rhyme-loving to rise to the fore. Chuckles and toe-taps remain the stated aim. This week, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, there’s also an attempt to give a nod in appreciation for all good things Irish!

The Bard of Blarney

There once was a poet named Barney,
who came from the town of Kilkarney.
He sought for his name
to garner him fame,
but all he could master was blarney.
That might not have been such disaster,
if Barney was not such a blaster
of fibbers and lies
as tall as the skies,
which soon held him slave to their master.
He wanted at times to play straighter,
not given to tales of inflator.
But each time he tried,
he found his words tied
in tales every grander and greater!
He thought if he took to orating,
perhaps he would find it less grating
than words on a page
that likened his mage
to bogus, blasphemous oblating.
Alas, though his tongue sounded lighter,
his writing remained such a fighter
it caused him to fall,
from dais and hall,
and brand him an indigent blighter.
At length he was dealt such derision,
he made a life-changing decision.
In versing no more,
he changed to his core.
He now resets clocks with precision.
New Barney, the clock fixing master,
no longer finds poetry faster
as path to true fame,
but how can you blame
him – after his life of disaster?
The moral (if one should be wanting)
shows changes, no matter how daunting,
if made for good end
(and not just pretend)
can save even bardsmiths, from vaunting
an ego so vast and conniving.
There’s ways suited more for surviving,
than braiding your ties
to fibbers and lies.
Your life may wind up full reviving.
Close hearken this message for learning,
despite if for fame you are yearning.
Hoe straight ev’ry row
as steady you go,
and life will require less derning*.


Our Barney, the blarney clock-setter,
in time became such a go-getter
his name was renown
through country and town;
life turning out all for the better.

*derning – variation of darning to imply mending

This poem is intended as fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons or places is purely coincidental.

Have you got a favorite limerick to share? Please post it in the comments below if you do – and lets keep it clean folks (nothing you wouldn’t want your Mom to read)!

Happy Rhyming, Friends!
New limerick tomorrow!


  1. Michael H. Lester

    I’d love to post a limerick, but I have never written anything I would want my Mom to read (well, I guess that isn’t strictly true as I recently discovered)!

    While reading this poem over twice
    Seeking morsels of timely advice
    The Irishman in me
    That gosh darn McKinley
    guzzles whiskey and bourbon on ice

    1. Post

      Ah so Michael – precisely what Pat told me when asked if he knew any ‘clean’ ones to make reply! (you two think very much alike on some issues) 🙂

      I think you’ve done your Irish heritage proud with this gem – and whiskey and bourbon on ice are not so daring – at least not on the first round. Your Mom could definitely be proud of this too.

      Many thanks for your response and contribution to making this page a good place!

  2. Suzanne Martikas

    Love the limericks! You have officially put me in the mood for the arrival of St. Patrick and now I long for a trip to IRELAND!!

    1. Post

      Oh Suzanne – so happy to hear from you. I’m currently working on today’s limerick and should be posting shortly.

      Have you done a limerick before? I don’t remember ever reading one in the Rhymezone. I’ll bet you could come up with a real winner (they are fun for a grin and great stress relief in composing)!

      Have you been to Ireland before? I haven’t, but anyone I’ve talked with who has ever visited had nothing but praise for its beauty.

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