NATIONAL LIMERICK DAY
Observed annually on May 12th, 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.
The 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.
While Lear is credited with popularizing the Limerick, the poetry style existed long before the publication of his book. Even so, the Limerick celebrates fun turns of phrase, rhythm, and humor in short form. It also plays with words and peoples’ expectations.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalLimerickDay
Enter a Limerick contest with a poem of your own. Read and share your favorite Limericks using #NationalLimerickDay to post on social media. If you don’t have a favorite, try reading Looney Limericks compiled by Frank Jacobs.
You can also visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for projects to help you Celebrate Every Day!
NATIONAL LIMERICK DAY HISTORY
Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of this poetry day. However, the day has been observed since at least 1984.