Limerick examples come in many forms...
"There once was a man from Nantucket" is one of many limerick examples - but it is not the only way to start off a limerick. The first of many limerick examples in print that has become a well-known nursery rhyme nowadays is:
Hickery, Dickery Dock,
A Mouse ran up the Clock,
The Clock Struck One,
The Mouse fell down,
And Hickery Dickery Dock.
This is an easy form of a limerick. It obviously became very popular and took on illustrated form, as I'm sure you've seen pictures of (or can picture for yourself) a mouse running up a clock, the clock chiming, and the mouse falling down because of the shock of the loud noise.
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All you need in order to start your limerick off strong is a line that ends in a word that tends to be easy to rhyme with. If you want to make it a little trickier, think of a word that is easy to rhyme with, and make it the last word of your second line. Then, think of a word that rhymes with that word that is more obscure, and place that as the last word of your first line.
You may think it's strange that I'm telling you to choose the more obscure word to start off your limerick. Well, that is what these examples are for; they show you how to capture your audience's attention with enticing, surprising lines. Here is a funny limerick example to show you what I mean:
There once was a man from Belize,
Who always needed to sneeze,
All day he went "aaaachooo!"
And never knew what to do,
As they would always come in threes.
As you hopefully noticed, the second line ends in a commonly used word - sneeze. I needed to pick a more obscure word to place in the first line of the limerick in order that it would make you wonder how I would ever be able to finish my limerick example in some sort of funny, entertaining way. So, I chose the country of Belize. It's not the most commonly used word (unless of course you live in Belize). I hope it captured your attention a bit more and made you start considering all the words I might have possibly attempted including in my limerick that rhymed with it.
Here's another example you might enjoy. Even though this one doesn't incorporate any obscure words, it still reaffirms the gist of how to write a limerick:
A little girl with a ball
Grew up to be real tall
When the ball bounced real high
She could reach up in the sky
And catch it before it could fall.
An online example, by Laura Black, reads as follows:
There once was a man from Peru,
Who dreamed of eating his shoe,
He awoke with a fright,
In the middle of the night,
And found that his dream had come true!
You see how this poet also used the technique of a more obscure word to end the first line and a more common word to end the second line. Yet those two words rhyme. It is in this way that limericks can be written. Even if you think it sounds crazy and strange, try it out, and you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised that your limerick sounds funny, cute, and well-written.
It really isn't hard to get into your limerick writing groove; just find your rhyme and go from there. Remember that the first, second, and fifth lines should all end with rhyming words, and the third and fourth lines should rhyme with each other as well. Follow this format and see what you come up with.
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