I had never taken limericks particularly seriously, and apart from the old school-time favourites (There once was a man from Kent… etc), cannot recall any of note.
But then I wrote a limerick to include on a Christmas card to an ex-work colleague, and the next time we caught up he went into raptures about it. However, I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I personalised his card, or the virtues or otherwise of the limerick itself.
No matter, it got me thinking. A limerick is a short story. Generally it opens with defining a character, then the second line sets the scene. In the third and fourth lines something usually happens, and the closing line offers a dénouement of sorts. They don’t all work like that, of course, but by and large they do contain all the components needed to tell a tale.
Next project then: A book of limericks !
There once was a gardener from Leeds
Spent all of the Spring setting seeds
He forgot fertiliser
And was none the wiser
’til all he got back were some weeds.
There must have been zillions of limericks written over the years, and it will be interesting to see if any of mine are a repeat of ones that already exist. How? I’m not sure, but running them all through one of the on-line plagiarism sites would be a start. I did that with all my OU assignments before submitting them, just in case!
An artist who painted in Louth
Held his brushes secure in his mouth
He fell on his face
Brushes vanished sans trace
Until one of them came out down south.
Well, that’s two of them drafted, and I’m reckoning on a gross, so 142 limericks to go !