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John, have you ever considered a career as
a country/western songwriter? They have
very strict rules too. ;-)
From: John Cowan [mailto:email@example.com]
Jasen Hoglund wrote:
[snipped, because I don't want to pick on him specifically]
Can't we get some limericks that actually *are* limericks?
People have mostly got the rhyme scheme right (some of the
rhymes are imperfect), but there are still far too many
syllables in far too many (like, say, almost all)
The canonical syllabic scheme of a limerick is this:
The first syllable can always be left off, as in lines 1
and 3, and you can squeeze in one, at most two extra syllables
per line (though this example doesn't). It's also okay to
drop an unstressed syllable here and there, as in line 5.
You can also have one (or even two) unstressed syllables at
the end, provided the rhyme scheme is respected:
Rhythmical alterations beyond these produce not a
limerick but a shapeless mess. It don't mean a thing if it
ain't got that swing!