Valentine’s Day Special: how to write a dirty limerick

Courtesy of blingrocks on Flickr
Category: Reading

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you want to show your loved one just how much they mean to you. You want to express the wonderful fluffy feelings they give you, in a way that is personal and meaningful and from the heart. But how?

Chocolates are an off the shelf solution, flowers are tricky (what style? what colour?) and a fancy meal costs a pretty penny. It’s not as easy as it looks.

I put to you the simple solution of the noble limerick. Funny but heartfelt, light but personal, a limerick is a perfect way to say ‘I love you, but let’s laugh at our shared flaws’.

So now you have an idea for the perfect Valentine, you have to sit down and write it. Follow these foolproof steps to create the ultimate limerick this Valentine’s day.

1. To get the balance right, you have to know your partner pretty well. For example, there is really no point in writing a proper old-school dirty limerick if you know your darling would faint at the whiff of innuendo. So first, decide on your tone. I decided to go with light-hearted and sweet, but you can put your wildest passions down on paper, if you so choose.

2. A limerick is distinct in that is short – only five lines - and has a set rhyming scheme of AABBA.

It also has a pretty strict metre and rhythm, which can make it both easy and hard to write!

Take this classic limerick by Edward Lear as an example:

There was an Old Man on a hill,
Who seldom, if ever, stood still;

He ran up and down,
In his Grandmother's gown,

Which adorned that Old Man on a hill.

3. The first line should end with a stressed syllable, which is usually either a place name or the name of your beloved. To spare the jewel of my heart extreme embarrassment, I have gone for the place name option.

4. Once you have your place name, then try and think of as many words that rhyme with this as possible. I picked ‘the Crags’ as my locale and came up with the following words:


5. Write down any themes that come out of the rhymes you have listed. As you can see above, this poem isn’t looking like it’s going to the most romantic thing I have ever written. This is the part where your theme starts to come together and you will quickly realise how hard it is to keep innuendo out of it (if that's what you are going for). It took about four attempts before I could come up with one that wasn't just filthy.

6. Once you have your first two lines, the rhyming scheme changes, along with the tone of the poem. If you are writing about your love and your central theme is that she has hair like the sun, this is the time to add the intrigue! Does it burn like the sun? Did she set you on fire? What’s happening?

7. The closing line ties it all together, and goes back to the original rhythm and scheme.  This is the part where it all ties together.

To inspire you, here is my super romantic attempt:


There once was a girl from the Crags

Who was thought of to be quite a drag,

But complain though she might,

She was truly a sight

And her smile, it was worth every nag.


Valentines heart book courtesy of altoexyl on Flickr
Heart-warming, I think you’ll agree! My colleague Claire had a bash with much better results:


There was a young man from North Shields,

Who liked roaming through countryside fields,

His moustache is yellow,

His temperament mellow

And before his smile, everyone yields!


So go on, put pen to paper and create a classic piece of poetry your dearest will cherish for years! And if you do , please share it with us in the comments!