Famous Funny Poems

Famous Funny Poems

Funny Poems by Popular Poets

Humor and laughter are good for the soul, and many great poets have incorporated them into their poems. Famous funny poems exude wit, cleverness, and sometimes irony to keep readers on their toes and laughing out loud. Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, and Edward Lear are just a few famous poets who used limericks, rhymes, and plays on words to create humorous poems. If you would like to write a funny poem and are looking for inspiration or if you just need a good laugh, reading a few funny verses are sure to make your day.

18 Popular Poems with Humor for Kids and Adults

  1. 1. The Three Little Pigs

    Famous Poem

    This poem was published in Revolting Rhymes, a collection of six Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. Each poem is a parody of a traditional folk tale. He provides a re-interpretation and surprise ending instead of the traditional happily-ever-after ending. In this poem with gory twists, Roald Dahl combines the characters in the Three Little Pigs story with Little Red Riding Hood.

    The animal I really dig,
    Above all others is the pig.
    Pigs are noble. Pigs are clever,
    Pigs are courteous. However,
    Now and then, to break this rule,
    One meets a pig who is a fool.
    What, for example, would you say,
    If strolling through the woods one day,
    Right there in front of you you saw
    A pig who'd built his house of STRAW?
    The Wolf who saw it licked his lips,
    And said, 'That pig has had his chips.'
    'Little pig, little pig, let me come in!'
    'No, no, by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin!'
    'Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!'

    The little pig began to pray,
    But Wolfie blew his house away.
    He shouted, 'Bacon, pork and ham!
    Oh, what a lucky Wolf I am!'
    And though he ate the pig quite fast,
    He carefully kept the tail till last.
    Wolf wandered on, a trifle bloated.
    Surprise, surprise, for soon he noted
    Another little house for pigs,
    And this one had been built of TWIGS!

    'Little pig, little pig, let me come in!'
    'No, no, by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin!'
    'Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!'

    The Wolf said, 'Okay, here we go!'
    He then began to blow and blow.
    The little pig began to squeal.
    He cried, 'Oh Wolf, you've had one meal!
    Why can't we talk and make a deal?
    The Wolf replied, 'Not on your nelly!'
    And soon the pig was in his belly.

    'Two juicy little pigs!' Wolf cried,
    'But still I'm not quite satisfied!
    I know how full my tummy's bulging,
    But oh, how I adore indulging.'
    So creeping quietly as a mouse,
    The Wolf approached another house,
    A house which also had inside
    A little piggy trying to hide.
    'You'll not get me!' the Piggy cried.
    'I'll blow you down!' the Wolf replied.
    'You'll need,' Pig said, 'a lot of puff,
    And I don't think you've got enough.'
    Wolf huffed and puffed and blew and blew.
    The house stayed up as good as new.
    'If I can't blow it down,' Wolf said,
    I'll have to blow it up instead.
    I'll come back in the dead of night
    And blow it up with dynamite!'
    Pig cried, 'You brute! I might have known!'
    Then, picking up the telephone,
    He dialed as quickly as he could
    The number of red Riding Hood.

    'Hello,' she said. 'Who's speaking? Who?
    Oh, hello, Piggy, how d'you do?'
    Pig cried, 'I need your help, Miss Hood!
    Oh help me, please! D'you think you could?'
    'I'll try of course,' Miss Hood replied.
    'What's on your mind...?' 'A Wolf!' Pig cried.
    'I know you've dealt with wolves before,
    And now I've got one at my door!'

    'My darling Pig,' she said, 'my sweet,
    That's something really up my street.
    I've just begun to wash my hair.
    But when it's dry, I'll be right there.'

    A short while later, through the wood,
    Came striding brave Miss Riding Hood.
    The Wolf stood there, his eyes ablaze,
    And yellowish, like mayonnaise.
    His teeth were sharp, his gums were raw,
    And spit was dripping from his jaw.
    Once more the maiden's eyelid flickers.
    She draws the pistol from her knickers.
    Once more she hits the vital spot,
    And kills him with a single shot.
    Pig, peeping through the window, stood
    And yelled, 'Well done, Miss Riding Hood!'

    Ah, Piglet, you must never trust
    Young ladies from the upper crust.
    For now, Miss Riding Hood, one notes,
    Not only has two wolfskin coats,
    But when she goes from place to place,

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  3. 2. Cinderella

    Famous Poem

    This poem was published in Revolting Rhymes, a collection of six Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. Each poem is a parody of a traditional folk tale. He provides a re-interpretation and surprise ending instead of the traditional happily-ever-after ending. This poem shows a different side of the Cinderella story that everyone knows. It has some gory twists and turns.

    I guess you think you know this story.
    You don't. The real one's much more gory.
    The phoney one, the one you know,
    Was cooked up years and years ago,
    And made to sound all soft and sappy
    just to keep the children happy.
    Mind you, they got the first bit right,
    The bit where, in the dead of night,
    The Ugly Sisters, jewels and all,
    Departed for the Palace Ball,
    While darling little Cinderella
    Was locked up in a slimy cellar,
    Where rats who wanted things to eat,
    Began to nibble at her feet.

    She bellowed 'Help!' and 'Let me out!
    The Magic Fairy heard her shout.
    Appearing in a blaze of light,
    She said: 'My dear, are you all right?'
    'All right?' cried Cindy .'Can't you see
    'I feel as rotten as can be!'
    She beat her fist against the wall,
    And shouted, 'Get me to the Ball!
    'There is a Disco at the Palace!
    'The rest have gone and I am jealous!
    'I want a dress! I want a coach!
    'And earrings and a diamond brooch!
    'And silver slippers, two of those!
    'And lovely nylon panty hose!
    'Done up like that I'll guarantee
    'The handsome Prince will fall for me!'
    The Fairy said, 'Hang on a tick.'
    She gave her wand a mighty flick
    And quickly, in no time at all,
    Cindy was at the Palace Ball!

    It made the Ugly Sisters wince
    To see her dancing with the Prince.
    She held him very tight and pressed
    herself against his manly chest.
    The Prince himself was turned to pulp,
    All he could do was gasp and gulp.
    Then midnight struck. She shouted, 'Heck!
    I've got to run to save my neck!'
    The Prince cried, 'No! Alas! Alack!'
    He grabbed her dress to hold her back.
    As Cindy shouted, 'Let me go!'
    The dress was ripped from head to toe.

    She ran out in her underwear,
    And lost one slipper on the stair.
    The Prince was on it like a dart,
    He pressed it to his pounding heart,
    'The girl this slipper fits,' he cried,
    'Tomorrow morn shall be my bride!
    I'll visit every house in town
    'Until I've tracked the maiden down!'
    Then rather carelessly, I fear,
    He placed it on a crate of beer.

    At once, one of the Ugly Sisters,
    (The one whose face was blotched with blisters)
    Sneaked up and grabbed the dainty shoe,
    And quickly flushed it down the loo.
    Then in its place she calmly put
    The slipper from her own left foot.
    Ah ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
    And Cindy's luck starts looking sicker.

    Next day, the Prince went charging down
    To knock on all the doors in town.
    In every house, the tension grew.
    Who was the owner of the shoe?
    The shoe was long and very wide.
    (A normal foot got lost inside.)
    Also it smelled a wee bit icky.
    (The owner's feet were hot and sticky.)
    Thousands of eager people came
    To try it on, but all in vain.
    Now came the Ugly Sisters' go.
    One tried it on. The Prince screamed, 'No!'
    But she screamed, 'Yes! It fits! Whoopee!
    'So now you've got to marry me!'
    The Prince went white from ear to ear.
    He muttered, 'Let me out of here.'
    'Oh no you don't! You made a vow!
    'There's no way you can back out now!'
    'Off with her head!' The Prince roared back.
    They chopped it off with one big whack.
    This pleased the Prince. He smiled and said,
    'She's prettier without her head.'
    Then up came Sister Number Two,
    Who yelled, 'Now I will try the shoe!'
    'Try this instead!' the Prince yelled back.
    He swung his trusty sword and smack
    Her head went crashing to the ground.
    It bounced a bit and rolled around.
    In the kitchen, peeling spuds,
    Cinderella heard the thuds
    Of bouncing heads upon the floor,
    And poked her own head round the door.
    'What's all the racket? 'Cindy cried.
    'Mind your own bizz,' the Prince replied.
    Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
    My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
    How could I marry anyone
    Who does that sort of thing for fun?

    The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut?
    'Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'
    Just then, all in a blaze of light,
    The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
    Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
    'Cindy! 'she cried, 'come make a wish!
    'Wish anything and have no doubt
    'That I will make it come about!'
    Cindy answered, 'Oh kind Fairy,
    'This time I shall be more wary.
    'No more Princes, no more money.
    'I have had my taste of honey.
    I'm wishing for a decent man.
    'They're hard to find. D'you think you can?'
    Within a minute, Cinderella
    Was married to a lovely feller,
    A simple jam maker by trade,
    Who sold good home-made marmalade.
    Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
    And they were happy ever after.

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    Yes, Roald Dahl has a whole book of revolting rhymes like this one. You should read it. Hilarious.

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  5. 3. Messy Room

    Famous Poem

    Shel Silverstein had a broad creative skill set that led him to be a well-known poet and children's author during the mid to late 1900s. He drew cartoons for magazines and became a song composer before focusing a lot of attention on writing many humorous poems. In this poem, the narrator is appalled by the mess in a room, and he finds the room to be all too familiar.

    Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
    His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
    His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
    And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
    His workbook is wedged in the window,
    His sweater's been thrown on the floor.
    His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
    And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
    His books are all jammed in the closet,
    His vest has been left in the hall.
    A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
    And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
    Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
    Donald or Robert or Willie or--
    Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,
    I knew it looked familiar!

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  6. 4. The Pig

    Famous Poem

    In this poem, Roald Dahl shares about a pig that contemplates his purpose in life. When he realizes he is going to end up on someone’s dinner plate, he takes matters into his own hands. Roald Dahl’s poems and stories are known for dark humor and unexpected endings.

    In England once there lived a big
    And wonderfully clever pig.
    To everybody it was plain
    That Piggy had a massive brain.
    He worked out sums inside his head,
    There was no book he hadn't read.
    He knew what made an airplane fly,
    He knew how engines worked and why.
    He knew all this, but in the end
    One question drove him round the bend:
    He simply couldn't puzzle out
    What LIFE was really all about.
    What was the reason for his birth?
    Why was he placed upon this earth?
    His giant brain went round and round.
    Alas, no answer could be found.
    Till suddenly one wondrous night.
    All in a flash he saw the light.
    He jumped up like a ballet dancer
    And yelled, 'By gum, I've got the answer! '
    'They want my bacon slice by slice
    'To sell at a tremendous price!
    'They want my tender juicy chops
    'To put in all the butcher's shops!
    'They want my pork to make a roast
    'And that's the part'll cost the most!
    'They want my sausages in strings!
    'They even want my chitterlings!
    'The butcher's shop! The carving knife!
    'That is the reason for my life! '
    Such thoughts as these are not designed
    To give a pig great peace of mind.
    Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
    A pail of pigswill in his hand,
    And piggy with a mighty roar,
    Bashes the farmer to the floor…
    Now comes the rather grisly bit
    So let's not make too much of it,
    Except that you must understand
    That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
    He ate him up from head to toe,
    Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
    It took an hour to reach the feet,
    Because there was so much to eat,
    And when he finished, Pig, of course,
    Felt absolutely no remorse.
    Slowly he scratched his brainy head
    And with a little smile he said,
    'I had a fairly powerful hunch
    'That he might have me for his lunch.
    'And so, because I feared the worst,
    'I thought I'd better eat him first.'

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  7. 5. Little Red Riding Hood And The Wolf

    Famous Poem

    This poem was published in Revolting Rhymes, a collection of six Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. Each poem is a parody of a traditional folk tale. He provides a re-interpretation and surprise ending instead of the traditional happily-ever-after ending. Read to find out the gory twist in this Little Red Riding Hood story.

    As soon as Wolf began to feel
    That he would like a decent meal,
    He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
    When Grandma opened it, she saw
    The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
    And Wolfie said, 'May I come in?'
    Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
    'He's going to eat me up!' she cried.
    And she was absolutely right.
    He ate her up in one big bite.
    But Grandmamma was small and tough,
    And Wolfie wailed, 'That's not enough!
    I haven't yet begun to feel
    That I have had a decent meal!'
    He ran around the kitchen yelping,
    'I've got to have a second helping!'

    Then added with a frightful leer,
    'I'm therefore going to wait right here
    Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
    Comes home from walking in the wood.'

    He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,
    (Of course he hadn't eaten those).
    He dressed himself in coat and hat.
    He put on shoes, and after that,
    He even brushed and curled his hair,
    Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.

    In came the little girl in red.
    She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
    'What great big ears you have, Grandma.'
    'All the better to hear you with,'
    the Wolf replied.
    'What great big eyes you have, Grandma.'
    said Little Red Riding Hood.
    'All the better to see you with,'
    the Wolf replied.
    He sat there watching her and smiled.
    He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
    Compared with her old Grandmamma,
    She's going to taste like caviar.

    Then Little Red Riding Hood said, '
    But Grandma, what a lovely great big
    furry coat you have on.'

    'That's wrong!' cried Wolf.
    'Have you forgot
    To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
    Ah well, no matter what you say,
    I'm going to eat you anyway.'

    The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
    She whips a pistol from her knickers.
    She aims it at the creature's head,
    And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.

    A few weeks later, in the wood,
    I came across Miss Riding Hood.
    But what a change! No cloak of red,
    No silly hood upon her head.
    She said, 'Hello, and do please note
    My lovely furry wolfskin coat.'

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    I love a good laugh - great fun. A good choice to be poem of the day in this festive season. Ann

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  8. 6. Television

    Famous Poem

    Children spend a lot of time in front of a screen, whether it’s a phone, computer, or TV. In his dark comedic mood, Roald Dahl warns against allowing a child to watch television. He reminds people how children used to spend a lot of time expanding their imagination by reading books, and he urges adults to share the gift of books with children.

    The most important thing we've learned,
    So far as children are concerned,
    Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
    Them near your television set --
    Or better still, just don't install
    The idiotic thing at all.
    In almost every house we've been,
    We've watched them gaping at the screen.
    They loll and slop and lounge about,
    And stare until their eyes pop out.
    (Last week in someone's place we saw
    A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
    They sit and stare and stare and sit
    Until they're hypnotised by it,
    Until they're absolutely drunk
    With all that shocking ghastly junk.
    Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
    They don't climb out the window sill,
    They never fight or kick or punch,
    They leave you free to cook the lunch
    And wash the dishes in the sink --
    But did you ever stop to think,
    To wonder just exactly what
    This does to your beloved tot?
    'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
    'But if we take the set away,
    What shall we do to entertain
    Our darling children? Please explain!'
    We'll answer this by asking you,
    'What used the darling ones to do?
    'How used they keep themselves contented
    Before this monster was invented?'
    Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
    We'll say it very loud and slow:
    THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
    AND READ and READ, and then proceed
    To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
    One half their lives was reading books!
    The nursery shelves held books galore!
    Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
    And in the bedroom, by the bed,
    More books were waiting to be read!
    Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
    Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
    And treasure isles, and distant shores
    Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
    And pirates wearing purple pants,
    And sailing ships and elephants,
    And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
    Stirring away at something hot.
    (It smells so good, what can it be?
    Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
    The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
    With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
    And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
    And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
    Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
    And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
    And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
    There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
    Oh, books, what books they used to know,
    Those children living long ago!
    So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
    Go throw your TV set away,
    And in its place you can install
    A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
    Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
    Ignoring all the dirty looks,
    The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
    And children hitting you with sticks-
    Fear not, because we promise you
    That, in about a week or two
    Of having nothing else to do,
    They'll now begin to feel the need
    Of having something to read.
    And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
    You watch the slowly growing joy
    That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
    They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
    In that ridiculous machine,
    That nauseating, foul, unclean,
    Repulsive television screen!
    And later, each and every kid
    Will love you more for what you did.

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    Could the poet have foreseen a future where kids wouldn't even cluster around TVs anymore but appear detached, more alone with their phones? We've come a long way. The poem is funny, but...

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  9. 7. A Word To Husbands

    Famous Poem

    This poem was written by Ogden Nash (1902-1971). Nash was know as a writer of humorous poetry. He wrote over 500 pieces of comic verse. In this poem, Nash sets his vision on the relationship between husband and wife. He points out that silence is often the best policy.

    To keep your marriage brimming
      With love in the loving cup,
      Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
      Whenever you're right, shut up.

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    Interesting. Years ago for our children I made this little rule. They had to periodically repeat it after me. When you're wrong, admit it. When you're right, shut up. I'm an avid...

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  10. 8. The People Upstairs

    Famous Poem

    Ogden Nash captures the frustration of sharing a house or apartment with people who are loud. Having walls that are connected means hearing everything that goes on next door or on the floor above. This humorous poem captures some of the things neighbors think they hear from each other. People who’ve shared walls with neighbors will quickly relate to this poem. Those who’ve never had neighbors that close will be thankful and want to keep it that way.

    The people upstairs all practise ballet
    Their living room is a bowling alley
    Their bedroom is full of conducted tours.
    Their radio is louder than yours,
    They celebrate week-ends all the week.
    When they take a shower, your ceilings leak.
    They try to get their parties to mix
    By supplying their guests with Pogo sticks,
    And when their fun at last abates,
    They go to the bathroom on roller skates.
    I might love the people upstairs more
    If only they lived on another floor.

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    This poem combines humor and a serious message. It stresses the necessity to live without being disturbed by noisy neighbors. I faced the problem for a long time.

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  11. 9. A Naughty Little Comet

    Famous Poem

    This classic, fun, and rhythmic poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) is a cautionary tale about a mother-daughter struggle that will be familiar to many parents of teenagers. The lesson taught is the virtues of a cautious and modest approach to life. The bold and fun loving daughter doesn't listen to the scolding of her wise mother and instead runs wild, reveling in her youth and beauty. In the end the mother's fears come true.

    There was a little comet who lived near the Milky Way!
    She loved to wander out at night and jump about and play.

    The mother of the comet was a very good old star;
    She used to scold her reckless child for venturing out too far.

    She told her of the ogre, Sun, who loved on stars to sup,
    And who asked no better pastime than in gobbling comets up.

    But instead of growing cautious and of showing proper fear,
    The foolish little comet edged up nearer, and more near.

    She switched her saucy tail along right where the Sun could see,
    And flirted with old Mars, and was as bold as bold could be.

    She laughed to scorn the quiet stars who never frisked about;
    She said there was no fun in life unless you ventured out.

    She liked to make the planets stare, and wished no better mirth
    Than just to see the telescopes aimed at her from the Earth.

    She wondered how so many stars could mope through nights and days,
    And let the sickly faced old Moon get all the love and praise.

    And as she talked and tossed her head and switched her shining trail
    The staid old mother star grew sad, her cheek grew wan and pale.

    For she had lived there in the skies a million years or more,
    And she had heard gay comets talk in just this way before.

    And by and by there came an end to this gay comet's fun.
    She went a tiny bit too far-and vanished in the Sun!

    No more she swings her shining trail before the whole world's sight,
    But quiet stars she laughed to scorn are twinkling every night.

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  12. 10. A Wonderful Bird Is The Pelican

    Famous Poem

    This well known Limerick is often misattributed to other famous poets such as Ogden Nash. Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879–1972) was an American poet, editor, historian and humorist

    A wonderful bird is the pelican,
    His bill will hold more than his belican,
    He can take in his beak
    Enough food for a week
    But I'm damned if I see how the helican!

    Another version:

    A funny old bird is a pelican.
    His beak can hold more than his belican.
    Food for a week
    He can hold in his beak,
    But I don't know how the helican.

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  13. 11. A Boy Named Sue

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    "A Boy Named Sue" is a poem by Shel Silverstein that has been made popular by Johnny Cash. Cash was at the height of his popularity when he recorded the song live at California's San Quentin State Prison at a concert on February 24, 1969. The concert was filmed by Granada Television for later television broadcast. The audio of the concert was later released on Cash's At San Quentin album. Cash also performed the song (with comical variations on the original performance) in December 1969 at Madison Square Garden.

    Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
    and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
    just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
    Now I don't blame him because he run and hid,
    but the meanest thing that he ever did was
    before he left he went and named me Sue.

    Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke,
    and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks,
    it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
    Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
    and some guy would laugh and I'd bust his head,
    I tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.

    Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
    My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
    Roamed from town to town to hide my shame,
    but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars,
    I'd search the honky tonks and bars and kill
    that man that gave me that awful name.

    But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had
    just hit town and my throat was dry.
    I'd thought i'd stop and have myself a brew.
    At an old saloon in a street of mud
    and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty,
    mangy dog that named me Sue.

    Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
    from a worn-out picture that my mother had
    and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
    He was big and bent and gray and old
    and I looked at him and my blood ran cold,
    and I said, "My name is Sue. How do you do?
    Now you're gonna die." Yeah, that's what I told him.

    Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down
    but to my surprise he came up with a knife
    and cut off a piece of my ear. But I busted a chair
    right across his teeth. And we crashed through
    the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging
    in the mud and the blood and the beer.

    I tell you I've fought tougher men but I really can't remember when.
    He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
    I heard him laughin' and then I heard him cussin',
    he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
    He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.

    And he said, "Son, this world is rough and if
    a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
    and I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
    So I gave you that name and I said 'Goodbye'.
    I knew you'd have to get tough or die. And it's
    that name that helped to make you strong."

    Yeah, he said, "Now you have just fought one
    helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you've
    got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame you
    if you do. But you ought to thank me
    before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit
    in your eye because I'm the guy that named you Sue."
    Yeah, what could I do? What could I do?

    I got all choked up and I threw down my gun,
    called him pa and he called me a son,
    and I came away with a different point of view
    and I think about him now and then.
    Every time I tried, every time I win and if I
    ever have a son I think I am gonna name him
    Bill or George - anything but Sue.

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  14. 12. Common Cold

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    The speaker of this poem suffers from a cold, but to him, it feels much, much worse. He thinks his doctor is crazy for thinking it is simply a cold as he rattles off his symptoms, and he’s irritated to have to pay his doctor for this simple diagnosis. The poet of this poem, Ogden Nash (1902-1971), was considered a hypochondriac himself. This poem is broken into stanzas that have rhyming couplets.

    Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
    You shall not sneer at me.
    Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
    Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
    I contemplate a joy exquisite
    I'm not paying you for your visit.
    I did not call you to be told
    My malady is a common cold.

    By pounding brow and swollen lip;
    By fever's hot and scaly grip;
    By those two red redundant eyes
    That weep like woeful April skies;
    By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
    By handkerchief after handkerchief;
    This cold you wave away as naught
    Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

    Give ear, you scientific fossil!
    Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
    The Cold of which researchers dream,
    The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
    This honored system humbly holds
    The Super-cold to end all colds;
    The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
    The Führer of the Streptococcracy.

    Bacilli swarm within my portals
    Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
    But bred by scientists wise and hoary
    In some Olympic laboratory;
    Bacteria as large as mice,
    With feet of fire and heads of ice
    Who never interrupt for slumber
    Their stamping elephantine rumba.

    A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
    Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
    Don Juan was a budding gallant,
    And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
    The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
    And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
    Oh what a derision history holds
    For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

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  15. 13. Limericks By Edward Lear

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    Collection of Limericks by Edward Lear (1812-1888). Most are from A Book of Nonsense published in 1846.

    There was an Old Man with a beard,
    Who said, 'It is just as I feared!
    Two Owls and a Hen,
    Four Larks and a Wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard!'

    There was an Old Person of Ischia,
    Whose conduct grew friskier and friskier;
    He dance hornpipes and jigs,
    And ate thousands of figs,
    That lively Old Person of Ischia.

    There was an Old Man in a boat,
    Who said, 'I'm afloat, I'm afloat!'
    When they said, 'No! you ain't!'
    He was ready to faint,
    That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

    There was a Young Lady of Hull,
    Who was chased by a virulent bull;
    But she seized on a spade,
    And called out, 'Who's afraid?'
    Which distracted that virulent bull.

    There was an Old Person of Ems,
    Who casually fell in the Thames;
    And when he was found
    They said he was drowned,
    That unlucky Old Person of Ems.

    There was an Old Man who said, 'Hush!
    I perceive a young bird in this bush!'
    When they said, 'Is it small?'
    He replied, 'Not at all!
    It is four times as big as the bush!'

    There was a Young Lady of Russia,
    Who screamed so that no one could hush her;
    Her screams were extreme,
    No one heard such a scream,
    As was screamed by that lady of Russia.

    There was an Old Person of Ewell,
    Who chiefly subsisted on gruel;
    But to make it more nice
    He inserted some mice,
    Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.

    There was an old man in a tree,
    Whose whiskers were lovely to see;
       But the birds of the air,
       Pluck'd them perfectly bare,
    To make themselves nests on that tree.

    There is a Young Lady whose nose
    Continually prospers and grows;
    When it grew out of sight,
    she exclaimed in a fright,
    "Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!"

    There was an Old Person of Dean,
    Who dined on one pea and one bean;
    For he said,
    "More than that would make me too fat,"
    That cautious Old Person of Dean.

    There was an Old Person of Dover,
    Who rushed through a field of blue Clover;
    But some very large bees,
    Stung his nose and his knees,
    So he very soon went back to Dover.

    There was an Old Man of Peru,
    Who watched his wife making a stew;
    But once by mistake,
    In a stove she did bake,
    That unfortunate Man of Peru.

    There was a Young Lady whose bonnet,
    Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
    But she said: 'I don't care!
    All the birds in the air
    Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!'

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  16. 14. Becoming A Dad

    Famous Poem

    To bring a baby into the world, women go through incredible pain. In this poem, Edgar Guest (1881-1959) shares how the experience of becoming a father is also painful. He goes through his own pain by not being able to do anything to help with labor and delivery. He frets and paces and worries as his partner experiences the anguish of childbirth. This poem has a comedic tone of a father’s experience with childbirth.

    Old women say that men don't know
    The pain through which all mothers go,
    And maybe that is true, and yet
    I vow I never shall forget
    The night he came. I suffered, too,
    Those bleak and dreary long hours through;
    I paced the floor and mopped my brow
    And waited for his glad wee-ow!
    I went upstairs and then came down,
    Because I saw the doctor frown
    And knew beyond the slightest doubt
    He wished to goodness I'd clear out.

    I walked into the yard for air
    And back again to hear her there,
    And met the nurse, as calm as though
    My world was not in deepest woe,
    And when I questioned, seeking speech
    Of consolation that would reach
    Into my soul and strengthen me
    For dreary hours that were to be:
    'Progressing nicely!' that was all
    She said and tip-toed down the hall;
    'Progressing nicely!' nothing more,
    And left me there to pace the floor.

    And once the nurse came out in haste
    For something that had been misplaced,
    And I that had been growing bold
    Then felt my blood grow icy cold;
    And fear's stern chill swept over me.
    I stood and watched and tried to see
    Just what it was she came to get.
    I haven't learned that secret yet.
    I half-believe that nurse in white
    Was adding fuel to my fright
    And taking an unholy glee,
    From time to time, in torturing me.

    Then silence! To her room I crept
    And was informed the doctor slept!
    The doctor slept! Oh, vicious thought,
    While she at death's door bravely fought
    And suffered untold anguish deep,
    The doctor lulled himself to sleep.
    I looked and saw him stretched out flat
    And could have killed the man for that.
    Then morning broke, and oh, the joy;
    With dawn there came to us our boy,
    And in a glorious little while
    I went in there and saw her smile!

    I must have looked a human wreck,
    My collar wilted at the neck,
    My hair awry, my features drawn
    With all the suffering I had borne.
    She looked at me and softly said,
    'If I were you, I'd go to bed.'
    Hers was the bitterer part, I know;
    She traveled through the vale of woe,
    But now when women folks recall
    The pain and anguish of it all
    I answer them in manner sad:
    'It's no cinch to become a dad.'

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  17. 15. I Didn't Go To Church Today

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    Ogden Nash (1902-1971) is a very well-known poet of light verse, and many people have tried to imitate his style. In this light verse, the narrator shares that he hopes God understands why he skipped church that morning. A beautiful day made it impossible to pass up a chance to get to the beach.

    I didn't go to church today,
    I trust the Lord to understand.
    The surf was swirling blue and white,
    The children swirling on the sand.
    He knows, He knows how brief my stay,
    How brief this spell of summer weather,
    He knows when I am said and done
    We'll have plenty of time together

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  18. 16. I'm Nobody! Who Are You?

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    "I'm Nobody! Who are you?" by Emily Dickinson is a playful exploration of anonymity and fame. In this brief but impactful poem, Dickinson celebrates the freedom of being unnoticed and unknown, contrasting it with the burden of public attention. Through witty language and imaginative imagery, she invites readers to consider the value of privacy and the allure of staying hidden in a world that often glorifies fame.

    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there 's a pair of us — don't tell!
    They 'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

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  19. 17. A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

    Famous Poem

    Ogden Nash’s humorous tone comes out in this poem about a woman who wakes up one morning and realizes she has aged. She feels as though she was just twenty-nine the night before. The days have a way of slipping away, and before you realize it, you’re older than you feel. Even though the woman in this poem, Miranda, does not want to age, the speaker assures her that she is still loved and adorned with beauty. This poem is made up of quatrains that follow the ABAB rhyme scheme.

    Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
    Feels the sun with terror,
    One unwilling step she takes,
    Shuddering to the mirror.

    Miranda in Miranda's sight
    Is old and gray and dirty;
    Twenty-nine she was last night;
    This morning she is thirty.

    Shining like the morning star,
    Like the twilight shining,
    Haunted by a calendar,
    Miranda is a-pining.

    Silly girl, silver girl,
    Draw the mirror toward you;
    Time who makes the years to whirl
    Adorned as he adored you.

    Time is timelessness for you;
    Calendars for the human;
    What's a year, or thirty, to
    Loveliness made woman?

    Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
    Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
    Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
    How old is Spring, Miranda?

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  20. 18. May I Feel Said He

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    In the poem "May I Feel Said He" by E.E. Cummings, the poet explores a playful and intimate dialogue between two individuals. The poem employs concise and fragmented lines, showcasing Cummings' signature style. Through repetition and alternating dialogue, the poem captures a sense of curiosity, desire, and consent between the couple. The poem progresses from innocent inquiries about touch and physical closeness to more profound emotions and the complexities of relationships. The use of parentheses emphasizes whispered responses and adds an intimate tone to the conversation. The poem concludes with a sense of affirmation and connection as the characters declare their devotion to each other. Overall, the poem captures the tender exploration of love, consent, and intimacy in a concise and evocative manner.

    may i feel said he
    (i'll squeal said she
    just once said he)
    it's fun said she

    (may i touch said he
    how much said she
    a lot said he)
    why not said she

    (let's go said he
    not too far said she
    what's too far said he
    where you are said she)

    may i stay said he
    (which way said she
    like this said he
    if you kiss said she

    may i move said he
    is it love said she)
    if you're willing said he
    (but you're killing said she

    but it's life said he
    but your wife said she
    now said he)
    ow said she

    (tiptop said he
    don't stop said she
    oh no said he)
    go slow said she

    (cccome?said he
    ummm said she)
    you're divine!said he
    (you are Mine said she)

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