Limericks have been popular for hundreds of years, and are often the very first poem learned and memorized by young children. They can be serious, fun, and even sexy.
Limericks have been around since at least the 1500s. Here is a limerick from "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book" from 1744:
Hickere, Dickere Dock,
A Mouse ran up the Clock,
The Clock Struck One,
The Mouse fell down,
And Hickere Dickere Dock.
In 1846, Edward Leard published his famous "Book of Nonsense" which popularized the limerick for many. It was only a few years later that the word "limerick" became applied to these silly poems.
The standard format for a haiku is aabba, and they tend to have a bouncy rhythm.
Here's one from 1877, from a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta:
My name is John Wellington Wells.
I'm a dealer in magic and spells.
In blessings and curses
And ever-filled purses
In prophecies, witches and knells.
Lisa's Poetry Information and Tips