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       Humorous poetry is found in many different places and forms; from silly limerics written by anonymous authors to famous poems like Lewis Caroll's Jabberwocky. Here is a collection of my favorite humorous poems, both famous and obscure, for you to read. Enjoy!


There was an old man of Tarentum,
Who gnashed his false teeth till he bent 'em.
When they asked him the cost
Of what he had lost,
He replied, "I can't say, for I rent 'em."
There was a man of Herne Bay,
Who was making explosives one day;
But he dropped his cigar
In the gunpowder jar.
There was a man of Herne Bay.
There was an old person of Tring
Who, when somebody asked her to sing,
Replied, "Isn't it odd?
I can never tell God
Save the Weasel
from Pop Goes the King!"
A boy who played tunes on a comb,
Had become such a nuisance at homb,
That ma spanked him, and then-
"Will you do it again?"
And he cheerfully answered her, "Nomb."
I wish that my room had a floor;
I don't so much care for a door,
But this walking around
Without touching the ground
Is getting to be such a bore.
A decrepit old gasman, named Peter,
While hunting around for the meter,
Touched a leak with his light;
He rose out of sight-
And, as everyone who knows anything about poetry can tell you, he also ruined the meter.

The Ostrich Is a Silly Bird

The ostrich is a silly bird,
With scarcely any mind,
He often runs so very fast,
He leaves himself behind,

And when he gets there, he has to stand,
And hang about till night,
Without a blessed thing to do
Until he comes in sight.

Mary E. W. Freeman

The Rich Man

The rich man has his motorcar,
His country and his town estate.
He smokes a fifty-cent cigar
And jests at fate.

He frivols through the livelong day,
He knows not Poverty, her pinch.
His lot seems light, his heart seems gay;
He has a cinch.

Yet though my lamp burns low and dim,
Though I must slave for livelihood--
Think you that I would change with him?
You bet I would!

Franklin P. Adams

A Wee Little Worm

A wee little worm in a hickory-nut
Sang, happy as he could be,
"O I live in the heart of the whole round world,
And it all belongs to me!"

James Whitcomb Riley

Father William

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head-
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm sure I have none,
Why I do it again and again."

'You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door-
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as the shook his gray locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment--one shilling the box--
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak-
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth; "one would hardly suppose
That you eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced as eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father, "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"

Lewis Carroll

The Twins

In form and feature, face and limb,
I grew so like my brother,
That folks got taking me for him,
And each for one another.
It puzzled all out kith and kin,
It reached an awful pitch;
For one of us was born a twin,
Yet not a soul knew which.

One day (to make the matter worse),
Before our names were fixed,
As we were being washed by nurse
We got completely mixed;
And thus, you see, by Fate's decree,
(Or rather nurse's whim),
My brother John got christened me,
And I got christened him.

Thes fatal likeness even dogg'd
My footsteps when at school,
And I was always getting flogg'd,
For John turned out a fool.
I put this question hopelessly
To everyone I knew--
What would you do, if you were me,
To prove that you were you?

Our close resemblance turned the tide of my domestic life;
For somehow my intended bride
Became my brother's wife.
In short, year after year the same
Absurd mistake went on;
And when I died, the neighbors came
And buried brother John!

Henry S. Leigh

Many well-known authors have also written humourous poems. The mathematician, Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in Wonderland, wrote some well-known funny poems like Father William and Jabberwocky; the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl, peppered his stories with funny ditties; and even J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, put some amusing poems in his books.

~Tolkien's Humorouse Poetry
~A Humorouse Poem by Roald Dahl


Making toast by the fireside,
Nurse fell in the fire and died;
And, to make it ten times worse,
All the toast was burned with nurse.

Harry Graham

Hall and Knight or (Z+B+X=Y+B+Z)

When he was young his cousin used to say of Mr. Knight:
"This boy will write an Algebra-- or looks as if he might."
And sure enough, when Mr. Knight had grown to be a man,
He purchased pen and paper and an inkpot and began.

But he very soon discovered that he couldn't write at all,
And his heart was filled with yearnings for a certain Mr. Hall;
Till, after many years of doubt he sent his friend a card:
"Have tried to write an Algebra, but find it very hard."

Now Mr. Hall himself had tried to write a book for schools,
But suffered from a handicap: He didn't know the rules.
So when he heard from Mr. Knight and understood his gist,
He answereed him by telegram: "Delighted to assist."

So Mr. Hall and Mr. Knight they took a house together,
And they worked away at algebra in any kind of weather,
Determined not to give it up until they had evolved
A problem so constructed that it never could be solved.

"How hard it is," said Mr. Knight, "to hide the fact from youth
That x and y are equal: it is such an obvious truth!"
"It is," said Mr. Hall, "but if we gave a b to each,
We'd put the problem well beyond our victims' reach.

"Or are you anxious, Mr. Knight, lest any boy should see
The utter superfluity of this repeated b?"
"I scarcely fear it," he replied, and scratched his grizzled head,
"But perhaps it would be safer if to b we added z."

"A brilliant stroke!" said Hall, and added z to either side;
Then looked at his accomplice with a flush of happy pride.
And Knight, he winked at Hall (a very pardonable lapse),
And they printed off the Algebra and sold it to the chaps.

E. V. Rieu

Moebius Strip

Hickory dickory dip,
A mouse on a moebius strip.
The mouse revolved,
And then dissolved,
In an interdimensional slip.


The Slithergadee has crawled out of the sea.
He may catch all the others but he won't catch me.
No you won't catch me, old Slithergadee,
You may catch all the others, but you wo--

Shel Silverstein

Although a lot of the poem Jabberwocky sounds like jiberish, you can still tell what it means; that's what makes it such a neat poem. In fact many of the nonsince words in it have now become part of the english language, even though they weren't at the time it was written. For more on this see the Amazing Word directory.


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
the Jabberwock, with eyes of flaame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Harry Graham

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