Limerick Day is May 12th! This holiday is observed on the birthday of one of its champions, Edward Lear. The limerick, which dates from the early 18th century, has been described as the "only fixed verse form indigenous to the English language." It gained its greatest popularity following the publication of Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense (and its sequels), which contained many limericks like the one below.
If you are interested in exploring the art and history of the limerick, check out the following titles from your hometown library.
A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
The owls, hen, larks, and their nests in his beard, are among the fey fauna and peculiar persons inhabiting the uniquely inspired nonsense rhymes and drawings of Lear (20th child of a London stockbroker), whose Book of Nonsense, first published in 1846, stands alone as the ultimate and most loved expression in English of freewheeling, benign, and unconstricted merriment.
Limericks by Valerie Bodden
An introduction to the humorous situation presented in a short, rhyming, poetic form known as the limerick, from its origins in the 1600s to today. Example poems and analysis explore such elements as wit and nonsense.