Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Limerick

As my more erudite readers will know, English verse is usually accentual – syllabic; that is to say, its rhythms and scansion depend on both syllable count and number of accents per line. The Limerick is exceptional in being almost entirely accentual, so that it is legitimate, up to a point, to squeeze in lots of extra syllables as long as they’re not accented and the standard well-known rhythm can be maintained. Here is a puzzle-limerick; reciting it correctly demands a knowledge of postal abbreviations:

A randy young fellow from Hampshire
Got off with a girl at a dampshire,
But she was from Oxfordshire
And slept with her socksfordshire,
Not to mention her pampshire.

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