By Freddie Moore

As far as odd holidays go, Limerick Day rules. It’s an opportunity to flex your rhyming skills, recite dirty verses and finally google the rest of “There once was a man from Nantucket.” Spoiler: The dirty version reads like something scribbled on a bathroom wall. That is, after all, part of its charm.

Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of Edward Lear, who popularized the limerick in the mid 19th century as a form of shameless, playful poetry. However breezy these poems may seem, though, they actually follow a strict AABBA rhyming scheme. For people who aren’t poetry nerds, that means that the first, second and fifth lines have to rhyme with each other, while lines three and four rhyme with each other. Limericks also follow a “anapaestic” rhythm illustrated below:

Da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

Da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

Da DUM da da DUM

Da DUM da da DUM

Da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

What better way to celebrate Limerick Day than writing a few amateur limericks of your own? We’ll kick things off with three poems about some of our favorite books:

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita, Lolita, my dear,

The fire in my loins may be queer,

      But I’ve never been mean —

      When your daughter’s thirteen

Have her phone up Humbert that year.

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

You ditch the Southwest for The City,

The land of the rich and the pretty,

      Just to get dumped

      And maybe get humped

By girls who look like your ex-biddy.

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

When the post office sends out the call,

Be sure that you bring alcohol!

      You’ll win on the horses

      But count on divorces —

It’s the best deadbeat job of them all.

These limericks don’t follow as dirty a reputation of some that have come before them, but you can always celebrate Limerick Day by writing your own raunchier ones — and share them in the comments below! You’ll have the internet power of anonymity on your side, after all!

Freddie Moore is a Brooklyn-based writer. Her full name is Winifred, and her writing has appeared in The Paris Review Daily and The Huffington Post. As a former cheesemonger, she’s a big-time foodie who knows her cheese. Follow her on Twitter: @moorefreddie

(Image credits, from top: Flickr Commons, Trash Complex, Litreactor, Quarterly Conversation)

KEEP READING: More on Poetry