A limerick is a humorous form of poetry with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA). The limerick form was popularized by Edward Lear in his first Book of Nonsense (1845) and a later work (1872) on the same theme. An example is:
There once was a young lady named Bright,
Whose speed was much faster than light;
She set out one day,
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.
What would you call it if limericks weren’t funny? I’ll go with Anti-limericks. So, here are some attempts at Anti-limericks.
I once met a very sad monk,
Who was always half-drunk;
He wanted to end it all,
Said life was too banal,
And the world put him in a dark blue funk.
There was a fish who swam in the Amazon,
Who sang a very melodious antiphon;
One day he started to sing,
And choked on a plastic ring,
By the next dawn he was forever gone.
He was created in a field of corn,
A love between the two was sworn;
But there came a big divide,
Religion pushed each to a side,
And he was to always remain unborn.
There once was a poor old clown,
His face was always in a frown;
Asked about the secret he hid,
Said he had been abused as a kid,
And hung himself ‘cos he was feeling down.
Once there was a man named Esque,
Whose appearance was generally grotesque;
“I too had many dreams”, he said,
“But they didn’t fetch any bread”,
So he had to live out his life at a desk.
Funny how close we always are to death,
Teetering on the edge like Macbeth;
The clock keeps counting down,
The mourner wears his gown,
Wondering if this would be his last breath.