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Famous Humorous Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Humorous poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous humorous poems. These examples illustrate what a famous humorous poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Yeats, William Butler
...the rich
Are driven by wealth as beggars by the itch,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And cannot have a humorous happy speech.'

'And there I'll grow respected at my ease,
And hear amid the garden's nightly peace.'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'The wind-blown clamour of the barnacle-geese.'...Read More



by Lindsay, Vachel
...MOVING-PICTURE ACTRESS

(After seeing the reel called "Oil and Water.")


Beauty has a throne-room
In our humorous town,
Spoiling its hob-goblins,
Laughing shadows down.
Rank musicians torture
Ragtime ballads vile,
But we walk serenely
Down the odorous aisle.
We forgive the squalor
And the boom and squeal
For the Great Queen flashes
From the moving reel.

Just a prim blonde stranger
In her early day,
Hiding brilliant weapons,
Too averse to play,
Then...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...have 
Never, until you learn to laugh with God.” 
And with a calm Socratic patronage, 
At once half sombre and half humorous, 
The Captain reverently twirled his thumbs
And fixed his eyes on something far away; 
Then, with a gradual gaze, conclusive, shrewd, 
And at the moment unendurable 
For sheer beneficence, he looked at me. 

“But the brass band?” I said, not quite at ease
With altruism yet.—He made a sort 
Of reminiscent little inward noise, 
Midway between ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...changed all that. Traveling
Nude as Cleopatra in my well-boiled hospital shift,
Fizzy with sedatives and unusually humorous,
I roll to an anteroom where a kind man
Fists my fingers for me. He makes me feel something precious
Is leaking from the finger-vents. At the count of two,
Darkness wipes me out like chalk on a blackboard. . .
I don't know a thing.

For five days I lie in secret,
Tapped like a cask, the years draining into my pillow.
Even...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...willing to conduct meetings for the poor,
Also meat and clothing for them he tried to procure,
And he always had little humorous speeches at command,
And to hear him deliver them it must have been grand. 

In military life his equal couldn't he found,
No! if you were to search the wide world around,
And 'tis pitiful to think he has met with such a doom
By a base traitor knave while in Khartoum. 

Yes, the black-hearted traitor opened the gates of Khartoum,
And through...Read More



by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...false doom, 
That shadow of mistrust should never cross 
Betwixt them, came upon him, and he sighed; 
Then with another humorous ruth remarked 
The lusty mowers labouring dinnerless, 
And watched the sun blaze on the turning scythe, 
And after nodded sleepily in the heat. 
But she, remembering her old ruined hall, 
And all the windy clamour of the daws 
About her hollow turret, plucked the grass 
There growing longest by the meadow's edge, 
And into many a listless annule...Read More

by Donne, John
...e:
Inconstancy unnaturally hath begot
A constant habit; that when I would not
I change in vows, and in devotion.
As humorous is my contrition
As my profane love, and as soon forgot:
As riddlingly distempered, cold and hot,
As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none.
I durst not view heaven yesterday; and today
In prayers and flattering speeches I court God:
Tomorrow I quake with true fear of his rod.
So my devout fits come and go away
Like a fantastic ague; save th...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...is rest ashore,
Moping for one voyage more.
Where have they laid the sailor John?
And yesterday the youngest son,
A humorous, unambitious man,
Was buried near the astrologer,
Yesterday in the tenth year
Since he who had been contented long.
A nobody in a great throng,
Decided he would journey home,
Now that his fiftieth year had come,
And 'Mr. Alfred' be again
Upon the lips of common men
Who carried in their memory
His childhood and his family.
At all these de...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...es more worthy fade
We find that whimsically Time
Conserves some crazy escapade.
So as I left I stood to stare
With humorous enjoyment where
Alphonso crashed the Palace stair....Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...he-world

Jabber for the curious bourgeoisie

He was especially maladroit

On working-class sexuality

A voyeur picking humorous moments

To show the ignorance of the class

He sprang from. “Anything was an occasion” -

Or did he mean ‘excuse’? - “for intercourse,

Even a visit to the chip-shop”.



O for the gentleness

And the quiet intimacy

And joyful spontaneity

Of working-class sexuality



Reading Shelley’s ‘Defence of Poetry’

Sitting on a bus by a girl who, ...Read More

by Masters, Edgar Lee
...aunt
Of blue jays chattering, chattering all the day.
And why not? for my very dust is laughing
For thinking of the humorous thing called life....Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...as unnecessarily hard,
it seems to me, like pickaxes,
rarely coming up with anything to show for it,
and going off with humorous elbowings.
Black-and-white man-of-war birds soar
on impalpable drafts
and open their tails like scissors on the curves
or tense them like wishbones, till they tremble.
The frowsy sponge boats keep coming in
with the obliging air of retrievers,
bristling with jackstraw gaffs and hooks
and decorated with bobbles of sponges.
There is a fenc...Read More

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell
...as of him 
To mind a slender man like me, 
He of the mighty limb.

"These to the printer," I exclaimed, 
And, in my humorous way, 
I added, (as a trifling jest,)
"There'll be the devil to pay." 

He took the paper, and I watched, 
And saw him peep within; 
At the first line he read, his face
Was all upon the grin.

He read the next; the grin grew broad, 
And shot from ear to ear; 
He read the third; a chuckling noise 
I now began to hear.

The fourth; he broke...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...for women—
To understand them—which you've never had—
You'd know it too . . . ' So went this colloquy,
Half humorous, with undertones of pathos,
Half grave, half flippant . . . while her fingers, softly,
Felt for this tune, played it and let it fall,
Now note by singing note, now chord by chord,
Repeating phrases with a kind of pleasure . . .
Was it symbolic of the woman's weakness
That she could neither break it—nor conclude?
It paused .Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...for women—
To understand them—which you've never had—
You'd know it too . . . ' So went this colloquy,
Half humorous, with undertones of pathos,
Half grave, half flippant . . . while her fingers, softly,
Felt for this tune, played it and let it fall,
Now note by singing note, now chord by chord,
Repeating phrases with a kind of pleasure . . .
Was it symbolic of the woman's weakness
That she could neither break it—nor conclude?
It paused .Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...?
Surely you would not have me, like a mirror,
Say 'yes,—your hair curls darkly back from the temples,
Your mouth has a humorous, tremulous, half-shy sweetness,
Your eyes are April grey. . . .with jonquils in them?'
No, if I tell at all, I shall tell in silence . . .
I'll say—my childhood broke through chords of music
—Or were they chords of sun?—wherein fell shadows,
Or silences; I rose through seas of sunlight;
Or sometimes found a darkness stoop...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...clever;
Her intellect is second-rate.
If she was witty she would never
Give me a chance to scintillate;
But cap my humorous endeavour
And make me seem as addle-pate."

Said Smith: "I'm glad my wife's no beauty,
For if a siren's charm she had,
And stinted her domestic duty,
I fear that she would drive me mad:
For I am one of those sad fellows
Who are unreasonably jealous."

Said Brown: ""I know my wife's not witty,
Nor is she very long on looks;
She's neither humo...Read More

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