Wednesday 13 April 2011

L is for Limericks

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
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.

This is not my own, but it tells it how it is. Edward Lear, supposedly the king of limericks, wrote limericks that were very clean and not at all funny, not least because the last line was always the same as the firs; rather like bginning as well as ending a joke with the punchline.

The reason we live in Devizes is all about limericks.We wanted to live somewhere in Wiltshire, and we went to look at Devizes because I'd heard all those rude limericks, and was curious to see what the actual place was like. Look away now if you are of a delicate disposition.

There was a young man of Devizes
Whose balls were of different sizes.
His tool, when at ease,
Hung down to his knees,
But oh! What a joy when it rises!

See what I mean? (Devizes, incidentally, is wonderful).

Having said that, my favourite limerick of all time is this. Goodness knows why. You probably won't like it at all. Humour, even in limericks, is very subjective.

There was a young man of St. Bees
Who was terribly stung by a wasp.
When they asked "does it hurt?"
He replied, "yes, it does.
It's a good job it wasn't a hornet."

And now for a competition. Post a limerick, any kind, and there will be a prize for the best. I'm afraid the prize will be a copy of one of my books, but you can always give it away if you don't want it!


  1. I'll start this off with -

    I know a good writer of prose
    Whose dream is to have a new nose
    And a tuck in her belly
    So she'll look good on the telly
    When up the ratings her novel has rose.

  2. I think I'll pass.... my brain is not working that good this morning--having a headache and achy body...grr

    I'm laughing out loud at Lynne's, that's a good one!


  3. I love Limmericks and these were excellent.


  4. I thought I might make a connection
    With an editor, but on reflection,
    The story was lame,
    So she put me to shame
    With a beautifully written rejection.

  5. Gosh, the saandard is high already! Thanks so much, Lynne and Joanna. I'll let you off, Doris, because of the headache, but Yvonne, given the title of your blog...?

  6. It's taken me all day but I've finally come up with this:

    There once was an arrogant fella
    Who thought he could pen a bestseller
    He sat down and tried
    But eventually cried
    "I think I'll just write a novella"

    PS I thought yesterday's post was pants. (Sorry - couldn't resist)

  7. I love the bees limerick, Frances!

    How about:-

    There was a young lady called Frances
    Who went to the raciest dances
    With two men she cavorted
    But her passions were thwarted
    When she found they had mutual fancies.

    (PS Poetic licence there, justin case your readers think I may know you personally!!)

  8. I posted one, back in February, called 'Sharp Shooter'

    Ballistics were all in a flap,
    No bullet could make such a gap.
    Holmes made his arrest
    With his typical zest,
    A lemon entry, my dear chap.

    It's probably better with the picture.

  9. Very well done, Keith and Bernadette! This is going to be very hard to judge.I'll wait and see whether there are any more to come!

  10. Hi Frances,

    Here's one.

    There once was a man from Kildare,
    He hadn't a thing to wear.

    So he put on some socks,
    Stood on the rocks.

    And shouted I don't ****** care.

  11. I know a Devizes one and mine is clean (I didn't write it)

    There was a young man from Devizes
    Whose Ears where of different sizes
    The one that was small
    was off no use at all
    But the other won several prizes!

  12. A woman who'd reached middle-age
    Had sadly reached that tragic stage
    When her skin looked all jaded
    And her memory had faded
    And she now can't remember ... can't remember ... can't ... oh, dammit

  13. Well done, Martin, Suzy and Fran (and thank you for the clean Devizes one, Patsy!).I've no idea how to decide on the winner, but will try to do so by tomorrow! (I'm currently struggling on a tiny laptop as my PC has died, together with everything on it! I just hope it can be rescued).

  14. I don't envy you having to choose a winner, Frances! These have given me a right giggle.
    Hope your PC can be saved.

  15. Coming in late, but what a fun post! Here's my humble try:

    She lived in a world of romance
    And wandered about in a trance;
    The heroes in books
    With their film star looks
    Were her partners in fantasy dance.

  16. Rosemary, that was lovely! But sadly too late. I've really enjoyed reading the limericks - might have another comp some time!