We fireproof our buildings asbestos we can.
Dutch cheeses taste Gouda; to Edam’s the plan.
Urine the money with pay-to-pee loos.
Why pick one’s own footwear? Have Jimmy Choo’s.
On the value of avarice all are agreed,
And we’re searching in vein to find out why we bleed.
Uncouth at the centaur of ancient myth action,
Half-horse plus half-man equals one whole infraction.
You’ve eyed it before, so this sight’s deja view.
If you’re an identical twin, I’m one, two.
The teacher drew circles but said pie are squared.
I’ve lost my left arm; my right’s left unimpaired.
Do the rich suffer gilt in a gold-toilet suite?
Does a one-legged marathon mean half defeat?
Those hotdogs were bad, but these brats are the wurst.
This poem is arse-backwards. It must be reversed.
Chris O’Carroll writes: “It was Oscar Levant, I believe, who said that a pun is the lowest form of humor unless you are the first person to think of it. A while back The Spectator ran a contest that called for poems riddled with puns. John Whitworth used to distinguish between ‘real poems’ and ‘competition poems’, and this effort of mine is probably a candidate for the latter category, but it did win me a few quid.”
Chris O’Carroll appears in New York City Haiku and The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, yet has won British poetry prizes from Flash 500, Literary Review, the Spectator, and elsewhere. His collections ‘The Joke’s on Me’ and ‘Abracadabratude‘ are available from Kelsay Books.
The artist said the wit
was “full of it”,
The punster tore the painter limn from limn.
Apparently some people believe that puns are “the lowest form of humour”, but I would suggest that those people are not good at wordplay, and therefore have no poetic sensibility. Look to Homer, Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson for puns; enjoy more discussion and examples here.
This short poem was published in The Asses of Parnassus, home of “short, witty, formal poems”. Thanks, Brooke Clark!
Photo: “punster” by danbruell is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
If I were to be punishèd
For every pun I shed
There would be no puny shed
For my punnish head.
Strictly speaking, of course, this isn’t a poem–it was merely an apparently spontaneous reply (but how many “spontaneous” remarks have been thought of and prepared in advance?)
The story was told in the following way:– “Sir,” said Johnson, “I hate a pun. A man who would perpetrate a pun would have little hesitation in picking a pocket.” Upon this Boswell hinted that his “illustrious” friend’s dislike to this species of small wit might arise from his inability to play upon words. “Sir,” roared Johnson, “if I were punishèd for every pun I shed, there would not be left a puny shed of my punnish head.”
The moral of the story was presumably for Boswell and others to guard their possessions when Doctor Johnson was around…
“statue of Samuel Johnson outside St Clement Danes Church” by ell brown is licensed under CC BY 2.0