Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday-Humor

Humor in poetry can sometimes seem like an oxymoron, and I'm as guilty as any amateur poet of using verse as an outlet for whatever angst I'm experiencing on a given day. So I enjoyed reading some "light verse" in search of a suitable offering. I was interested to realize that it never occurred to me to try and write a humorous poem, and I feel sort of inspired now to give it a try.
This poem of Judith Viorst's, although a little outdated in it's references (Keoghs?? I think they're some sort of retirement investment that were popular in the 80's), has a cute message about the way happiness changes as we grow older.
Happiness (Reconsidered)
Happiness
Is a clean bill of health from the doctor,
And the kids shouldn't move back home for more than a year,
And not being audited, overdrawn, in Wilkes-Barre,
in a lawsuit or in traction.
Happiness
Is falling asleep without Valium,
And having two breasts to put in my brassiere,
And not (yet) needing to get my blood pressure lowered,
my eyelids raised or a second opinion.
And on Saturday nights
When my husband and I have rented
Something with Fred Astaire for the VCR,
And we're sitting around in our robes discussing
The state of the world, back exercises, our Keoghs,
And whether to fix the transmission or buy a new car,
And we're eating a pint of rum-raisin ice cream
on the grounds that
Tomorrow we're starting a diet of fish, fruit and grain,
And my dad's in Miami dating a very nice widow,
And no one we love is in serious trouble or pain,
And our bringing-up-baby-days are far behind us,
But our senior citizen days have not begun,
It's not what I called happiness
When I was twenty-one,
But it's turning out to be
What happiness is.
Judith Viorst
For more humorous poetry, go here

9 Comments:

Blogger jim said...

Viorst is a hoot. Her work and wry, sharp observations are irresistable.

7/13/2006  
Blogger Star said...

You had me. I thought you really had undertaken to write a humorous poem for us and I was all ready to nail you on the rum raisin ice cream (after your meme yesterday revealing the mint chocolate chip) only to find that you'd hoodwinked me...and that made me laugh.

I tend to vent in my poetry too. I don't seem to feel the need to put the happy times into words as much as to give voice to my frustrations and concerns to work through them. For some reason, when something delights me or makes me happy I reach for my camera instead of my journal.

Thanks for the good laugh, Becca!

7/13/2006  
Blogger ecm said...

I love some of Viorst's children's poetry. She has a series re-writing fairy tales with these really long titles. Very fun.

7/13/2006  
Blogger jzr said...

Fun! It sounds all too familiar!

7/13/2006  
Blogger Tammy said...

Oh Becca, this was perfect for me to read today. It's where I'm at in life and I'm loving it. Thanks :)

7/13/2006  
Blogger deirdre said...

This is all so true. I'm still surprised by it.

7/13/2006  
Blogger mikim said...

Truly enjoyed this, it's a wonderful selection.

7/14/2006  
Blogger twitches said...

Nice poem, thanks for posting. Although now I have that song about Happiness from You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown stuck in my head.

7/15/2006  
Blogger Deb R said...

Cool poem - very much something I can relate to right now!

7/15/2006  

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