10 Funny Poems To Read When You Need A Pick-Me-Up
Look. Life is difficult, and often expensive. There's never enough time to accomplish anything. Our political leaders have taken up Saturday morning cartoon-style villainy. Love is impossible and job security is rare and my back creaks all the time now. Why does my back creak all the time in my mid-twenties? I feel like I shouldn't be able to hear my spine this much? What happened to my youth? In short, we're all struggling to some degree. We all deserve a massage and a month off for sleeping and general skincare. But since none of us can afford that right now, here are some poems to tide us over in the meantime.
Poetry may have a reputation for being morose and maudlin, but there are actually quite a few poets out there who use their medium for laughs. A funny poem can be the perfect defense against a no good, rotten mood. Poems take about three seconds to read, after all, but they stay with you for far longer. Plus, you get to feel like a very literary individual, because you are reading poetry. So here are a few sweet, sarcastic, and all around humorous poems to pick you up, no matter what you're feeling down about:
1. 'Inventory' by Dorothy Parker
"Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye."
2. 'Let Me Count the Waves' by Sandra Beasley
"You must not skirt the issue wearing skirts.
You must not duck the bullet using ducks.
You must not face the music with your face.
Headbutting, don’t use your head. Or your butt.
You must not use a house to build a home,
and never look for poetry in poems."
3. 'After the Lunch' by Wendy Cope
"On Waterloo Bridge, where we said our goodbyes,
the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I’ve fallen in love.
On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing. you’re high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?
On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You’re a fool. I don’t care.
the head does its best but the heart is the boss—
I admit it before I am halfway across."
4. 'Reflections On Ice-Breaking' by Ogden Nash
5. 'Scintillate' by Roger McGough
"I have outlived my youthfulness
so a quiet life for me
I used to scintillate
Now I sin
6. 'Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?' by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
"If by real you mean as real as a shark tooth stuck
in your heel, the wetness of a finished lollipop stick,
the surprise of a thumbtack in your purse—
then Yes, every last page is true, every nuance,
bit, and bite. Wait. I have made them up—all of them—
and when I say I am married, it means I married
all of them, a whole neighborhood of past loves.
Can you imagine the number of bouquets, how many
slices of cake? Even now, my husbands plan a great meal
for us—one chops up some parsley, one stirs a bubbling pot on the stove."
7. 'Against Dieting' by Blake Morrison
"Please, darling, no more diets.
I've read the books on why it's
good for one's esteem.
I've watched you jogging lanes and pounding treadmills.
I've even shed some kilos of my own.
But enough. What are love handles
between friends? For half a stone
it isn’t worth the sweat.
I've had it up to here with crispbread.
I doubt the premise, too.
Try to see it from my point of view.
I want not less but more of you."
8. 'If only out of vanity' by Staceyann Chin
"If only out of vanity
I have wondered what kind of
woman I will be
when I am well past the summer of
my raging youth...
In those years when I am grateful
I still have a good sturdy bladder"
9. 'Siren Song' by Margaret Atwood
"Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?
I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.
I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song
is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique
at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time."
10. 'Man's Testament' by Adam Lindsay Gordon and 'Ye Wearie Wayfarer' by Kingsley Amis
"Life is mainly froth and bubble
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another's trouble
Courage in your own"
And the rebuttal:
"Life is mainly grief and labour,
Two things get you through.
Chortling when it hits your neighbor,
Whingeing when it's you."