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Limericks about English verse

by Bernard Lamb


The pioneering poet

There was a Neanderthal man

Who found that his grunts didn’t scan;

This hearty meat-eater

Invented the metre

To prove they certainly can.


Said this primitive poet of Thame:

“My verses may sound rather lame;

I think, given time,

I could invent rhyme,

With line-endings just sounding the same.”


While carving cave walls with his stick,

He made a verse-form looking slick:

With very few rhymes

And only five lines,

He’d invented the first limerick!


There are many subtleties in all languages, with huge differences in meaning between words which are often confused or misused. This limerick clearly illustrates that between ‘may’ (allowed to) and ‘can’ (able to).


May and can

A lover of grammar, named Anne,

Asked, “Please may I sleep with this man?”

When told, “No, you can’t,”

She replied, “But dear Aunt,

Experience proves that I can!”