Humorous verses of five lines needed...

One of the UK’s oldest seafaring charities is launching a national limerick competition designed to celebrate life at sea to mark World Poetry Day this Thursday, 21 March.
The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which provides financial support and assistance to retired and incapacitated seafarers in need, is encouraging adults and school pupils to enter its Seafaring Limerick Competition for a second year following overwhelming support for the 2012 contest which was judged by Bard of Barnsley and English poet Ian McMillan.
This year it’s the turn of Radio 4 comic poet Matt Harvey to sit in the judge’s seat.

The competition is to write an original poem on a maritime subject in
limerick form consisting of no more than five lines and with the first,
second and fifth usually rhyming.

The deadline for entry is 5pm on
Monday 11 April and the charity is offering an engraved barometer and
video recording of the winning poem read by Matt as a prize.

Throughout the duration of the campaign the charity will be tweeting their ‘Limerick of the day’ from the showcase entries.

This year the charity has also added a second category for under 18s and is encouraging pupils in schools across the country to enter the competition.
In 2011/2012 the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society made regular and one-off grants in over 2,500 cases of need to retired and working age mariners and their families amounting to over £1.47million.
Charity chief executive Malcolm Williams said: ‘With the exception of mine, the standard of entries we received last year was outstanding and we are hoping for a repeat performance this year.

‘The competition is a fun way to celebrate life at sea and those who work day in day out with the ocean, whether, fishing its depths, protecting our shores or transporting the products we take for granted in our daily lives.’

Matt has penned a limerick of his own to inspire budding poets to enter the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s competition:

A short-sighted sailor called Shearer
Was sure Scotland’s shoreline grew nearer
He was no navigator
For one hour later
He ran aground off South Utsire

World Poetry Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1999 to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.
To enter the competition and for more information visit or the Society’s Facebook page at