What Are Some Examples of Short, Funny Poetry?


Quick Answer

Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and Dorothy Parker are among the poets notable for writing short funny poems, which is evident on poems such as "One Perfect Rose" and "You are Old, Father William." Lear and Carroll especially popular humorous and nonsense poems for children, while Parker wrote society verse.

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One of Dorothy Parker's most entertaining poems is "One Perfect Rose," in which the narrator speculates regretfully about why amorous gentlemen send her perfect roses rather than a far more practical and valuable perfect limousine.

Many of Lewis Carroll's funniest poems were embedded in novels he wrote for his young friend Alice, although some were published independently. "You Are Old, Father William," a parody of "The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them" by Robert Southey, also satirises many of the truisms about the need to live prudentially while young to enjoy old age. The Father William of the poem, who claims to have kept his teeth strong by arguing with his wife and turns somersaults at the door to advertise the liniment he tries to sell to his young interlocutor, is a delightful hedonist and entertaining curmudgeon.

Edward Lear is perhaps best known for his mastery of the limerick, a five-line verse form consisting of rhyming anapestic lines. In "There was an Old Man with a Beard," Lear portrays a man with a beard so long that birds nest in it. Another perennial humorous children's favorite by Lear is the nonsense narrative concerning "The Jumblies," who went to sea in a sieve.

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