The limerick is a poem that has stanzas of five lines,
and has a rhyming pattern of the first line rhyming with
the second and last, and the third and fourth lines
rhyming. It is a very simple form, used for many things
from children’s rhymes to political slander.
Limericks were brought into the limelight by Edward Lear
in 1846. But limericks are much older than that.
Amazingly the first English form similar to limerick form
is a printing of “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” from 1744.
After Lear popularized the form, it continued to gain
much renown through out the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Finally in the 20th Century its popularity reached a
peak. Famous poets such as Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll,
and Shel Silverstein have helped the form gain