Rhyming Fun!

A retirement limerick is meant to be witty, funny and humorous.  It is a five-line poem in which the last word in the first two lines rhymes with the last word in the fifth line.

More About Limericks!

In addition, the last word in the third and fourth line should rhyme. So, the rhyming scheme is AABBA. The last line, if the limerick is a good one, has the "punch line".

It is believed by some people that French soldiers made up the limerick as they were marching from France to the Irish town of Limerick. That was more than three centuries ago.

It is not uncommon for a limerick to include a "hyperbole" (deliberate exaggeration used for effect) or "onomatopoeia" (formation of words that imitate the sound associated with something).  The use of an "idiom" (an expression whose meaning cannot be deduced) or "pun" (word or phrase with more than one possible meaning) is common.  The majority of limericks are humorous and many are obscene.

Limerick Example

A flea and a fly in a flue

Were caught, so what could they do?

Said the fly, "Let us flee."

"Let us fly," said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Anonymous

Try to complete this limerick.  Notice the beat pattern.  The rhyme and the rhythm are equally important.

There once was a pauper named Meg

Who accidentally broke her _______.

She slipped on the ______.

Not once, but thrice

Take no pity on her, I __________.

It would be difficult or impossible to find the "perfect" limerick for your retiree.  But, with the examples above, it is my hope that you can write an appropriate and humorous limerick.

Well-known Classic Limerick

This is a popular limerick published in an 1880 newspaper:

"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" 

(and another)

“My retirement fund is on hold;

What once was so hot now is cold,

Stocks that used to be stellar

Now dwell in the cellar

So I'd better not ever get old.”

Nonsense Poetry

That is the term often given to retirement limericks or any limerick.  This type of poetry is meant to be amusing.  It is a form of comedy that can very entertaining if the creator is thoughtful and talented.


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