Besides International Nurses Day, today is also National Limerick Day! This annual holiday, also referred to as International Limerick Day, is observed each year on May 12 to celebrate the birth of Edward Lear, the author and illustrator of the popular Book of Nonsense. The “Father of the Limerick” helped popularize the delightful rhymes.
Born in London on May 12, 1812, Edward Lear was the 20th child of stockbroker Jeremiah Lear. With little formal education, the young Lear was basically raised by his older sister. While he is best known for his nonsense verse, Lear actually began his “illustrious” career as an artist. He sketched animals, anatomical drawings and painted landscapes and was actually invited to give a series of drawing lessons to Queen Victoria.
While his writing was often humorous, Lear suffered from a variety of serious health issues during his life, including epileptic seizures which he referred to as the "Demon." Lear died on January 29, 1888, at the age of 75.
Limericks are silly rhymes comprised of five lines in the AABBA structure. In other words, the first, second and last lines (AAA) rhyme with each other while the second and third lines (BB) rhyme with each other. Folks have been writing limericks for centuries which began as nursery rhymes. While many of the rhymes are written for children, some of the more “famous” limericks are a bit naughty and are inappropriate for children’s ears.
Writing limericks are not only fun, but they are simple to do, too.
There once was a gal from Macomb.
Who was tired of being alone.
So she walked out the door,
And was lonely no more,
And never returned to her home.
There was once a gal who could rhyme.
But she simply did not have the time.
Although limericks are funny,
They don’t earn much money,
And she died with nary a dime.