Poetic Forms: Limerick
|Edward Lear's book that made Limericks popular world wide|
in year 1845
Welcome to the 3rd Instalment of our FEATURE "POETIC FORMS", to get inspired and know the world of different forms of poetry and I am Shashi your host. Every month on the 3rd Wednesday, I will try to give you info about some forms of poetry which has attracted me and inspired me... over the years. .....
This post will also have some interesting example's to inspire you to write some poetry in the same form.... so here we are with another, though ancient Form, has lot of modern following… Hope this post interests you to write LIMERICKS… and enjoy with whole of your group as sometimes it can be very very interesting..
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Monthly Poetic Form starts on 3rd Wednesday every month, 1:30pm (CDT), and will stay open till next Sunday, 8pm (CDT), At least 11 days for you to share your efforts in writing or trying a new poetry form and share with us...
Now without any further delay... here is this month's POETIC FORM "LIMERICK" for you to think interestingly as well as to keep in mind that Limericks are kind of witty, humorous as well as they some times are obscene with humorous intent...
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
The origin of the name limerick for this type of poem is debated. As of several years ago, its usage was first documented in England in 1898 (New English Dictionary) and in America in 1902, but in recent years several earlier uses have been documented. The name is generally taken to be a reference to the City or County of Limerick in Ireland, sometimes particularly to the Maigue Poets, and may derive from an earlier form of nonsense verse parlour game that traditionally included a refrain that included "Will [or won't] you come (up) to Limerick?" The earliest known use of the name "Limerick" for this type poem is an 1880 reference, in a Saint John, New Brunswick newspaper, to an apparently well-known tune,
[Pie]: There was a young rustic named Mallory,
who drew but a very small salary.
When he went to the show,
his purse made him go
to a seat in the uppermost gallery.
Tune: Wont you come to Limerick.
What actually is a Limerick
A limerick is a kind of a witty, humorous, or nonsense poem, especially one in five-line anapestic or amphibrachic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (aabba), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent. The form can be found in England as of the early years of the 18th century. It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century, although he did not use the term.
The following example of a limerick is of unknown origin.
The limerick* packs laughs anatomical *(pronounced "lim'rick" to preserve meter)
In space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.
Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene, and cites similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw, describing the clean limerick as a periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity. From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function.
The standard form of a limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second and fifth usually rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables each; and the shorter third and fourth lines also rhyming with each other, but having only two feet of three syllables. The defining "foot" of a limerick's meter is usually the anapaest, (ta-ta-TUM), but limericks can also be considered amphibrachic(ta-TUM-ta).
However, from a rhythmic point of view, lines 1, 2 and 5 have a silent accent at the end, making 4 accents per line. Lines 3 and 4 combined also have 4 accents, making four lines with an overall total of 16 accents (i.e. foot tapping "beats" ). This is why limericks can be sung to sixteen bars of 3/4 music. Reading, or reciting, naturally follows the faster rhythm of 6/8 time, making eight bars of two triplets per bar. A triplet represents a "foot" of 3 syllables.
The first line traditionally introduces a person and a place, with the place appearing at the end of the first line and establishing the rhyme scheme for the second and fifth lines. In early limericks, the last line was often essentially a repeat of the first line, although this is no longer customary.
Within the genre, ordinary speech stress is often distorted in the first line, and may be regarded as a feature of the form: "There was a young man from the coast;" "There once was a girl from Detroit…" Legman takes this as a convention whereby prosody is violated simultaneously with propriety. Exploitation of geographical names, especially exotic ones, is also common, and has been seen as invoking memories of geography lessons in order to subvert the decorum taught in the schoolroom; Legman finds that the exchange of limericks is almost exclusive to comparatively well-educated males, women figuring in limericks almost exclusively as "villains or victims". The most prized limericks incorporate a kind of twist, which may be revealed in the final line or lie in the way the rhymes are often intentionally tortured, or both. Many limericks show some form of internal rhyme, alliteration or assonance, or some element of word play
Verses in limerick form are sometimes combined with a refrain to form a limerick song, a traditional humorous drinking song often with obscene verses.
Now lets give you some more examples...
The limerick form was popularized by Edward Lear in his first Book of Nonsense (1845) and a later work (1872) on the same theme. Lear wrote 212 limericks, mostly nonsense verse. It was customary at the time for limericks to accompany an absurd illustration of the same subject, and for the final line of the limerick to be a kind of conclusion, usually a variant of the first line ending in the same word.
There was a Young Person of Smyrna
Whose grandmother threatened to burn her*;
But she seized on the cat,
and said 'Granny, burn that!
You incongruous old woman of Smyrna!'
*(best pronounced " 'er" with non-rhotic accent to preserve rhyme and syllabic stress pattern)
WORLD WAR II
A series of limericks was used to great effect in World War II to obtain priority in a dockyard to have new guns fitted to the Dutch sloop Soemba.
|HMS Ark Royal in World War|
The first was:
A report has come in from the Soemba
that their salvoes go off like a Rhumba
two guns, they sound fine
but the third five point nine
he am bust and refuse to go boomba.
by Captain Nicholl (Royal Navy)
The series continued up to a final limerick by the vice-chief of staff of the Royal Dutch navy.
Text and Images from Wikipedia
I look forward to read your LIMERICKS ... in weeks to come and this time I am going to make amends for not being commenting... I will make amends and visit all the three weeks together.. with my thoughts in this weekend.... look forward to a lovely weekend.
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya