The Limerick, a Guide to Its Rhythm

Anapests every line make a limerick.
As advice this may sound like a gimcrack,
But it’s nonetheless true
As the sky’s sometimes blue.
The grey area’s the beats in the front and back.

What’s an “anapest”? Let’s begin there.
It’s three syllables, not iamb pair.
Unstressed beats in the front
And the third takes the brunt,
Just like this, and like this, and so there.

Some skip the first beat in the front,
Effecting a pattern more blunt.
But they’re still anapests;
If the second beat’s stressed,
It’s caused when the first beat is shunt.

Both from the first can be left aside;
Strong is the first beat thus modified.
Then the first anapest
Is without its unstressed,
But it’s still anapest–from itself can’t hide.

Just as beats in the front can be thrown aside,
Extra beats at the back can extend the ride.
You can add one or two
Unstressed beats–up to you.
To make feminine ending–that’s bonafide.

I sure hope these small rhymes are some use to you,
For the limerick’s a form that’s been tried and true.
They’re a mountain of fun–
And your fun’s just begun–
Just as much as a cup of your favorite brew!

Shameless plug:

Author: Rhyme In Time

I write for a living. For no kind of living whatsoever, I also write poetry and study the Korean language. And I help raise a cat with my wife.

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