Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Friday, July 6, 2012

Writing Exercise

By Ashley Lister

After the fun of last month’s blog post on cinquains, I wanted to stay with poetry again this month and look at one of my all-time favourite poetic forms: the limerick.

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
His daughter, called Nan
Ran off with a man
And as for the bucket, Nan took it.

I recite this version in classes because it’s more acceptable than the ribald version.  I’ve reprinted the ruder version below with the offending language carefully censored.

There once was a man from Nantucket
Whose c**k was so long he could suck it.
He said with a grin
As he wiped off his chin,
“If my ear was a c**t I could f**k it.”

Why do I like the limerick? It’s fun and it’s ribald. It’s also a legitimate form of poetry exemplifying balanced meter and disciplined rhyme schemes. The limerick is characterised by the a-a-b-b-a rhyme scheme and it’s fairly easy for anyone to attempt.

1          A vice both obscene and unsavoury         a
2          Kept the Bishop of Barking in slavery       a
3          With horrible howls                                    b
4          He deflowered young owls                         b
5          That he lured to his underground aviary.  a

Personally, I think the sophisticated rhyme scheme in this limerick is quite remarkable.  The three syllable rhyme (ay-var-ee) at the end of lines 1, 2 and 5 is a powerful reminder of the poem’s strong construction. The same can be said for the rhyme in lines 3 and 4 (ow-uls). Not bad for a throwaway verse based on the idea of a bishop having sex with owls. 

There was a young woman from Leeds
Who swallowed a packet of seeds
Within half an hour
Her **** grew a flower
And her **** was a bundle of weeds.

I could talk here about the syllable weight in this poem. Instead I’ll simply say that it’s effective because it remains true to the form and it’s still funny because of the ridiculous images it suggests. The same can be said for the final example below.

There once was a young man called Paul
Who had a hexagonal ball
The square of its weight
And his c**k’s length (plus eight)
Is his phone number – give him a call.

The usual rules apply to this blog post. If you can come up with a limerick that you want to share, please post it in the comments box below. Obviously no one wants to read anything defamatory or libellous but saucy and ribald are the lifeblood of the limerick so I’ll be happy to see your risqué rhymes there.

As always, I look forward to reading your poems.


  1. There once was a woman from Maine
    Who climaxed in spurts of champagne.
    She was dry (as in "brut"),
    But the gentleman's suit
    Was as wet as a lake in the rain.

  2. There was a sweet someone from Queens
    Who developed a hole in her jeans.
    When she sat on my hand,
    Though it hadn't been planned,
    She liked what I did, by all means.

  3. [Last one, I promise. Thanks for the invitation, Ashley!]

    Her sister, it seems, was in Nantes
    When she, too, got a tear in her pants.
    She sat on some feathers,
    Which tickled her nethers,
    And wrote, "I'm remaining in France."

  4. Mr Edwards,

    It doesn't surprise me that this particular form has brought out the poetic side of the man who wrote the witty and saucy Rock My Socks Off.

    Thanks for sharing your creativity here.


  5. There was a young man, name of Rob,
    Whose girlfriend gave him a blowjob,
    Went down on her knees,
    But started to sneeze,
    And nearly bit off his knob.

  6. Graham,

    Love this one! Witty and risque - the way a good limerick should be.


  7. Giggle! Jeremy, you're in top form!

    I'll have to come back with my contribution later...

  8. The Marquis De Sade did complain,
    I get so much pleasure from pain,
    That I liked to beat,
    The girls from the street,
    And so they declared me insane.

  9. Graham,

    They're addictive, aren't they? I think there's something about the cadence of this form that seems to tap into something primal within us.

    Another witty example!


  10. Hi Ash,

    Yes! Although I have recently discovered that writing poetry of any sort can become very addictive.

    Since starting to write poetry I have found it very difficult to concentrate on prose at all.

    Graham x

  11. Thank you so much, Ashley and Lisabet! (:v>

  12. This is wonderful!

    By happenstance or luck, Limericks are the July theme on the ERWA mailing list as well.

    This one, you have to be a little forgiving with the meter:

    There once was a writer - erotician
    Who complained to her private physician
    "I can't write the next scene
    Without wanking between
    And climaxing puts me out of commission!"


  13. Graham,

    I always believe that the most important thing with writing is that the writer should be having fun.

    If writing poetry is giving you more pleasure at the moment than writing prose, then it's the ideal medium for your personal self-expression.



  14. Raz,

    I liked the way you prefaced your limerick with the warning about the meter.

    The meter did stumble in a couple of places. But the impact of the poem more than made up for that. It was funny, appropriate and entertaining.

    Thanks for sharing your writing here today.


  15. Dear Sir, I demand that you cease
    to trouble my maidenly crease,
    You've spent far too long
    assaulting my thong.
    Now, man up and grant me release.

  16. I hope the release proves to be one that was worth waiting for. The limerick certainly was!

  17. RG,

    Thank you! I adore the way this one begins with prim Victorian language and then hurtles into the 21st century on those final two lines.

    Stylish as ever :-)


  18. I think Jeremy gets the prize for most giggle worthy.

    I think I'll be staying in France, too.

  19. Thanks, RG! I loved your lim and, in fact, could have sworn I'd posted a comment saying so. (Fifty-fifty odds as to whether the blame goes to my absent-mindedness or Blogger's bloody-mindedness.)

  20. A popular harlot called Alice
    Would pleasure her johns with a phallus.
    While she buggered them well
    To arouse them she'd tell
    All the gossip from Buckingham Palace.

    It's taken me weeks, but I couldn't NOT contribute something!

  21. Lisabet,

    Thank you - that was genuinely worth waiting for :-)


  22. A man with aim badly untrue
    Contracted a whore that he knew
    Said she, "I feel troubled
    that the charge just doubled"
    but you jizzed my favorite shoe

  23. Craig,

    That too was worth waiting for. There's something about the limerick that brings out the wicked in writers :-)



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.