Sunday, April 5, 2020

Humorous Poems

I hope that my missives both inform and entertain and since there is not a great deal to inform about these days let us try the latter.

I have always loved poetry and combining that with my sense of humor I might say that I enjoy ditties.  The champion of this art form as far as I am concerned is Ogden Nash.  He produced over 500 poems with his unconventional rhyming schemes and is this country’s preeminent master of humorous poetry.   

One that I learned as a kid and remember to this day is:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
At least until the billboards fall
I shall not see a tree at all

This is, of course, a take-off on Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Trees”.

Most appropriate for today’s unfortunate circumstances is the following that may apply to those who test negative for COVID-19 but feel miserable nonetheless.

Common Cold
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 F├╝hrer 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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