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My Week in Limericks

By Ella Dorn, BA Chinese and Linguistics

The limerick, compact but sprightly, is my favourite verse form. I have previously written them in dead languages and submitted others to various anonymous Facebook pages; I even had to be stopped from writing my UCAS personal statement in limerick format. 

This week, I’ve contributed to the field by writing a limerick diary. Follow me as I try to do some work, somehow get Zoom interviewed by a major publication, pull off a spur-of-the-moment all-nighter, learn a new language, and try to do a bit more work – all in Ireland’s best-loved meter.  


In every girl’s life comes the time:

‘Heavens, how now shall I rhyme?’

I’ve no skill for haiku,

So this week I’ll make do –

Fair limerick, come and be mine!


I worked pretty hard, in defence,

(Go hard or go home, my pretense).

Wrote some new chengyu,

For class, a long review,

Of a book making no ounce of sense.


Today’s been a bit of a show,

(I can’t sleep right now, I’m aglow!)

It’s so hard to exhume,

When in this Zoom room,

Has been Bogart (perhaps) or Monroe!

‘On Thursday I sit here in class/All of my bones feel like glass’


On Thursday I sit here in class,

All of my bones feel like glass.

Why’s it so painful?

Complaints? I’ve a brainful,

All-nighters are merely a farce.


The all-nighter, in fact, was a smash.

Well-rested, and stressed? Not a dash! 

My sleep pattern’s sorted!

Why had I cavorted,

With moonlit reading of trash?


Here I sit learning Korean,

Better than any plebeian.

At long last it’s clearer,

That half the words here are

Sinitic (not Indo-European).


Today I must finish my work,

Log on, no time to divert –

To….music with bongos!

Japanese gameshows!

The oeuvre of one Douglas Sirk!

Photo caption: A busy typist. (Credit: David Klein, Unsplash)

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