Observed annually on May 12, National Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author and poet Edward Lear (May 12, 1812 – Jan. 29, 1888). Lear is known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose and limericks.
National Limerick Day also celebrates the limerick poem. Limerick poems were popularized by Edward Lear’s book “Book of Nonsense” in 1846.
A limerick is a very short, humorous, nonsense poem. Within a limerick, there are five lines. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth line and the third and fourth line rhyme together.
The limerick also has a particular rhythm which is officially described as anapestic trimeter.
THERE WAS A YOUNG LADY
By Edward Lear
There was a Young Lady whose chin
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp, and purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.