How to Write a Limerick in 5 Steps + Examples

how to write a limerick poem with examples-imagine forest

Did you know that the earliest example of limericks were written up to 500 years ago? To celebrate this funny and humorous form of poetry, May 12th is national limerick day. This is the perfect day to start learning how to write your own limericks. And to help you out, we have created this brilliant step-by-step guide on how to write a limerick with examples.

Qualities of a Limerick

Before you begin writing your limerick. Here are a couple of things that all limericks have in common:

  • They are five lines long
  • They all follow the following rhyme scheme: AABBA rhyme scheme – the first line must rhyme with the 2nd and 5th line. And lines 3 and 4 must rhyme.
  • They are usually funny or silly
  • The last line is usually the most funniest.

How to write a limerick in 5 steps

Step 1: Brainstorm ideas:

Before even starting to write a limerick, it is a good idea to read a couple of examples. Reading examples will help you understand what a limerick sounds like and what they are all about. Once you have understood the style of limerick, it’s time to start brainstorming.

On a piece of paper start writing down funny ideas. You might think about something that happened recently that made your giggle or something you saw on TV or read in a book that made you laugh. If you are still struggling for ideas, you can try using the “What If” technique. For example, what if a bear could talk? Or if you had wings?how to write a limerick with examples-imagine-forest

Step 2: Writing your first line:

Now that you have a couple of funny ideas to help you, it’s time to write your first line. The first line of a limerick is normally the easiest, as it either ends with a person’s first name or the name of a city, town or country. Therefore when selecting the last word in your first sentence make sure you choose something simple, which is likely to have many words that rhyme with it.

For example:

There was once a quiet girl named Kate.

Step 3: Find words that rhyme with your first line:

Use a rhyming dictionary to find words that rhyme with the last word in your first sentence. Make a list of words that rhyme and select the ones that are most relevant for your limerick.

Using the example from step 2:

Late, Date, Mate, Rate, Great, Debate, State, Separate, Collaborate, Wait…

Step 4: Write your 2nd and last line:

Make sure your last line is extremely funny or something that is out of the ordinary.

For example:

There was once a quiet girl named Kate.
One day she came to school late.

We then noticed the word “wait” would be the perfect word to include in the last sentence:

“Stop! You’ll have to wait!”

Step 5: Write lines 3 and 4:

You might need to change line 5, so it makes more sense:

For example:

There was once a quiet girl named Kate.
One day she came to school late.
When her alarm went off
She jumped up and took off
Then her cat yelled “Hey wait!”

We changed the last sentence to make it sound more unusual and funny.

Share your limerick poems with us!

We hope that our step-by-step instructions on writing your own limericks makes limerick writing a whole lot easier. And would love to read your limericks! Just post your poetry in the comments below.

Interested in more poetry? Take a look at our posts, how to write your first-ever haiku and tips for writing a Clerihew poem. And for some added extra fun, why not create your own comic strip?

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he’s not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.
  • Ramachandran Nagarajan

    Is this limerick acceptable?
    Once lived a small girl Kate
    On Friday she came to school late
    The Guard was at the gate
    He told Kate -just you wait!