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Adding Value To The Business of Cropping

Crazy poems

Learning Intentions:

    Students will be able to:
  • recite a limerick-style poem by heart
  • learn the structure of a limerick
  • make up new limericks relating to their observation of gardening, plants and growing things.
A picture about 'There was an old man from Leeds'.

Learn the limerick


There was an old man from Leeds

There was an old man from Leeds,

Who swallowed a packet of seeds.

In less than an hour,

His nose was in flower, 

And his head was a garden of weeds.


Learn the structure of a limerick

A limerick is a funny, nonsense poem with five lines. 

To write a limerick, the first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (usually 8 or 9). The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 5 or 6).

Here is an example of an 8, 8, 5, 5, 8 syllable limerick:

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!"

                       by Richard Lear, 1920

A more complex example of a 10,10, 6, 6, 10 syllable limerick suitable for older students is as follows:

A wonderful bird is the pelican.
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak,
Food enough for a week,
I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!

                     by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1910

Make up your own limericks

Write your own limericks. Remember they have to be funny and match the pattern described above. Keep in mind a theme, such as gardens, plants, farms or bugs. Observations of real things may help to prompt ideas.

Draw funny pictures to go with your limericks.