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Picture of Kalleh
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Some words naturally rhyme, like 'boy' and 'toy.' Other times you can make a rhyme by putting words or phrases together, and I love those kind of rhymes. For example, the limerick I did on alcoholism has a real fun rhyme, I think: "alcoholism" with "fizz 'em." Others I have done are "reaction" with "facts shun" or "function" with "hunks shun." Is there a term for those kinds of rhymes?

I also wondered if there is a special word when a limerick (or poem) is about something, if that word is used for the rhyme. In the OEDILF project I find the best ones to be those that have rhymes with the defined word. For example, the "alcoholism" limerick rhymes "alcoholism" with "schism" and "fizz 'em." I think those are more fun, and you are more likely to remember those words.
 
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Well, I guess there aren't words for these rhymes!

I have another OEDILF limerick question. What is your definition of a limerick? I am getting all confused about the meter requirements. I will let someone answer before I will say what I have been told.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Well, I guess there aren't words for these rhymes!

I have another OEDILF limerick question. What is your definition of a limerick? I am getting all confused about the meter requirements. I will let someone answer before I will say what I have been told.


A bit of googling found me this. Pleae note that I'm aware that the rest of the site has nothing to do with limericks but what people choose to combine on their sites is a source of ceaseless wonder to me.
 
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I've found that site, too, Bob! Strange and wonderful stuff, eh?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Quote "...A bit of googling found me this. Pleae note that I'm aware that the rest of the site has nothing to do with limericks but what people choose to combine on their sites is a source of ceaseless wonder to me..."

I have to assume that Dr Birch combines his interest in female sexuality with an interest in Limericks. But maybe that's not so strange considering the Limerick's own common preoccupation with that topic...


Richard English
 
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not so strange considering the Limerick's own common preoccupation with that topic

Though perhaps ironic, given that the man who popularized the limerick form, Edward Lear, was gay.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jheem:
_not so strange considering the Limerick's own common preoccupation with that topic_

Though perhaps ironic, given that the man who popularized the limerick form, Edward Lear, was gay.


Was he, really? I didn't know! Anyway, LEWD is certainly not exclusively heterosexual, goodness knows!

Think someone ought to invite Mr. Birch to join this board???


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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quote:
the man who popularized the limerick form, Edward Lear, was gay.
We learn such fascinating stuff here! However, although Edward Lear popularised the limerick, all his verses that I've seen were squeaky clean, and, truth be told, rather boring.

I wonder what it was that caused the limerick form to be taken up by writers of feelthy poems?


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Anyway, LEWD is certainly not exclusively heterosexual

True enough, but Richard did not say "lewd", he said "I have to assume that Dr Birch combines his interest in female sexuality with an interest in Limericks. But maybe that's not so strange considering the Limerick's own common preoccupation with that topic".
 
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Thanks, Bob, for that great site. So...it sounds as though it isn't crucial to have only an anapest in a limerick? This was the discussion on OEDILF. Some of the workshoppers are very strict that the same number of unstressed syllables need to be in each line (at the beginning of the limerick), while others don't agree.
 
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Quote "...Though perhaps ironic, given that the man who popularized the limerick form, Edward Lear, was gay..."

Interestingly, and maybe an association, few of Lear's Limericks had that "whipcrack" last line which is so characteristic of the form these days. So often it's the last line that contains the sexual reference. As in:

There was a young lady from Bude
Who liked to walk round in the nude.
Now my conscience is clear
Though I certainly fear
You thought the last line would be rude.


Richard English
 
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So where did limericks make the transition from Lear's things (I grew up with his alphabet poems, myself) to the ribauld ditties we all know and love. Was it lyricists? Vaudeville? The filthy minds of wordlovers everywhere?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Well, Nan on OEDILF has asked what gems wordcraft has discussed regarding the US (unstressed syllables) and SS (stressed syllables) of Limericks. OEDILF seems to be big-time into acronyms, which I have always despised. I often find acronyms a way for technies to keep the general public for knowing what they are saying.

But...I digress! Anyway, I don't really have much to give them, except Bob's link, which I will do. Anything else, folks? Do limericks have strict rules requiring certain numbers of unstressed syllables at the beginnings of lines? Or, is the structure more lenient? I always thought the latter was the case for limericks, while double dactyls were more prescriptive. However, the OEDILFers seem to disagree with me.

BTW, Bob, I like your new avatar! Wink
 
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I say break all the rules and let others sort them out!

:-D


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I say break all the rules and let others sort them out!

"Kill them all and let God sort them out." St Dominic (the one the singing nun wrote about) in re the Albigensian heretics in southern France.

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Aleister Crowley the Great Beast to his disciples.
 
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Picture of Hic et ubique
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Mr. Birch, the author of Bob's link, doesn't know what he's talking about. This should be obvious from the fact that he rambles on for (unbelievably!) 3,474 words – roughly 10 pages of a paperback book! If he knew what he wanted to say, he should be able to say it concisely. What Birch says about meter can be phrased differently in 37 words:
    lines in meter DUM-da-da-DUM-da-da-DUM (for the short lines, omit last three beats), but add unstressed beats thus:
    - add 1 or 2 at the start of each line;
    - add 1 or 0 at the end of each line.*
Unfortunately Birch is completely wrong on meter. It perfectly permissible, though not common, to have zero unstressed syllables at the start of a line, or two at the end. You'll have no trouble finding examples. I'm not sure what examples would be thought "authoritative", but here are three from The Penguin Book of Limericks, the first by Morris Bishop, the others by "anonymous." All show extra beats at the end, and the last also has two lines with no unstressed beat at the start.
    The limerick packs laughs anatomical
    Into space that is quite economical.
    But the good ones I've seen
    So seldom are clean.
    And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

    A complacent old Don of Divinity,
    Made boast of his daughter's virginity.
    They must have been dawdlin,
    The students of Magdalen;
    It couldn't have happened at Trinity.

    The new cinematic emporium
    Is not just a super-sensorium
    But a highly effectual
    Heterosexual
    Mutual masturbatorium.

*Of course, the rhyming rules will dictate that if a pair of lines are to rhyme at the end, they must have there the same number of unstressed beats.
 
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I generally just find a good song that fits the meter and work the words in.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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'Twas the Night Before Christmas is a good template to use to get the metre correct.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Hic et ubique says:
quote:
What Birch says about meter can be phrased differently in 37 words:

lines in meter DUM-da-da-DUM-da-da-DUM (for the short lines, omit last three beats), but add unstressed beats thus:
- add 1 or 2 at the start of each line;
- add 1 or 0 at the end of each line.


I think you need more than the 37 words because in the last three lines of a limerick, you need to maintain the anapestic meter across the line boundaries. If you finish line 3 with two unstressed syllables, you really can't fit two unstressed syllables at the start of line 4. You end up having to squash each pair of syllables into the time of a single beat.

Your third example finishes line 3 with two unstressed syllables (ef-FEC-tu-al) so line 4 sounds natural starting on a strong beat (HET-er-o-SEX-u-al).

Your second example finishes line 3 with a single unstressed syllable (DAWD-lin) so line 4 sounds natural starting with a single unstressed syllable before the stressed beat (the STU-dents).

The beginnings and ends of lines 1 and 2 do have a lot more flexibility because there are natural pauses that allow space for extra unstressed syllables if needed.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I have a question about how to use the word "anapest." Note that I said, "an anapest in a limerick." Then, Virge called it "an anapestic rhythm." Did I use the word "anapest" wrong?
 
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An anapest (singular) is a metrical foot with three syllables, the third accented (or in some cases longer, but when we're talking about limericks we're thinking of stress not length). An anapestic rhythm is a pattern of beats made up from successive anapests.

I tried not to refer to individual anapests in my comments because having a line break after a weak syllable means that the last foot of the line cannot be an anapest. The anapest (if it could be said to exist) is split between the end of one line and the start of the next. However, both lines taken together can exhibit an anapestic rhythm (provided one doesn't insert a pause at the line-end).
 
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Hoo...it all sounds so complicated!

Who would have ever thought limericks were that complicated? Roll Eyes
 
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Just out of curiosity, where does the stress lie in the word 'anapest'? By rights, it should be an anapestic word (although it's funny if it isn't!), but I always think of it as an-a-pest.
 
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an-a-pest

In fact, one of the WPSI winners was this one:

Here’s a sample example concrete:
When a verse uses anapest feet,
Then its syllables race
At a furious pace
With a vigorous galloping beat.
 
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