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Comic Poems


This treasury of humorous poems brings together a sparkling constellation of witty poets–from Lord Rochester to Lewis Carroll, from Edward Lear to Ogden Nash, from Dorothy Parker to W. H. Auden–and embraces a wide range of forms, including limericks, clerihews, ballads, sonnets, and nonsense verse.

Comic Poems is studded with unforgettable classics, along with lesser-known comic gems from across the ages, from ancient Rome to modern America. Here is the immortal “How Pleasant to...

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This treasury of humorous poems brings together a sparkling constellation of witty poets–from Lord Rochester to Lewis Carroll, from Edward Lear to Ogden Nash, from Dorothy Parker to W. H. Auden–and embraces a wide range of forms, including limericks, clerihews, ballads, sonnets, and nonsense verse.

Comic Poems is studded with unforgettable classics, along with lesser-known comic gems from across the ages, from ancient Rome to modern America. Here is the immortal “How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear” beside Noël Coward’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”; the incomparable “Jabberwocky” next to the famous “There was a young lady of Riga.” From Cole Porter and John Updike on love and marriage to Stevie Smith and Dorothy Parker on mortality to the ever-talented Anonymous on almost anything, the lighthearted poetry collected here ranges from the most delightful nonsense to the most sophisticated wit.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375413544
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 499,941
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.55 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Washington is the author of Madame Blavatsky's Baboon. He is the editor of several Everyman's Library Pocket Poet anthologies including Love Poems and Friendship Poems.
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Table of Contents

News Item 19
'Wig, rouge, honey' 19
Their Sex Life 19
Epigram VI.57 20
Epigram IX.33 20
Boston 20
'Diophon' 21
'Hermogenes is rather short' 21
A Case 21
Twins 22
'Busts and bosoms have I known' 22
'I like a woman built on ample lines' 22
This Englishwoman 22
Fatigue 23
Variation on Belloc's 'Fatigue' 23
Resume 23
'Mean old Hermon' 24
The Hardship of Accounting 24
Epigram 24
Human Life 25
Cherry White 25
Some are Born 26
Common Sense 26
The Question 26
Company 27
Samson Agonistes 27
'Man stole fire' 27
'Having slept with a man' 28
Prophetic Soul 28
Two Cures for Love 28
'Eutychus the painter' 29
Reflection of Ice-breaking 29
Genealogical Reflection 29
Reminiscent Reflection 30
Crossing the Border 30
Epigram II.38 31
On Rutt the Judge 31
Treason 31
On Certain Ladies 32
On Taking a Wife 32
Swans Sing Before They Die 32
Juliet 33
The Reward 33
Relativity 37
Mind and Matter 37
Determinism 37
'A young schizophrenic named Struther' 38
Idealism 38
A Reply 38
'There was a young lady of Riga' 39
'There was an old man of Boulogne' 39
'There was an old party of Lyme' 39
'When Daddy and Mum got quite plastered' 39
Bump! 40
Drusilla 40
Edouard 40
Arthur 41
Benjamin 41
Carlotta 41
Requiem 42
'A Young Person came out of the mists' 42
'As the poets have mournfully sung' 42
'There was an Old Man with a beard' 43
'There was an Old Lady of Chertsey' 43
'There was an Old Man whose despair' 43
'There was an Old Man who said, "Hush!"' 43
Nomenclaturik 44
Oscar Wilde 45
D. G. Rossetti 45
Alexandre Dumas and His Son 45
George Gissing 46
Walter Savage Landor 46
From Biography for Beginner: J. S. Mill 47
From Biography for Beginner: 'The intrepid Ricardo' 47
From Biography for Beginner: '"No, air," and General Sherman' 47
From Biography for Beginner: George III 47
From Biography for Beginner: Adam Smith 47
From Academic Graffiti: 'Lord Byron' 48
From Academic Graffiti: 'Henry Adams' 48
From Academic Graffiti: 'Henry James' 48
From Academic Graffiti: 'When Karl Marx' 48
From Academic Graffiti: 'Cardinal Newman' 48
B Kw rtn 51
Lapsus Linguae 51
Faults 52
40-Love 52
Tenuous and Precarious 53
The Ceiling 54
Tarantella 55
'In this mirror' 56
No! 57
A Ternarie of Littles, Upon a Pipkin of Jellie Sent to a Lady 58
The Carcajou and the Kincajou 59
The Modern Hiawatha 59
The Mad Gardener's Song 60
From the Embassy 62
The Waif 63
What the Spider Heard 64
The Fly 65
Spring in the Bronx 65
A Little Lamb 65
Rillons, Rillettes 66
Private Means is Dead 67
V. B. Nimble, V. B. Quick 68
Squeeze Play 69
In the Dumps 69
Vendetta 70
Jabberwocky 71
The Termite 72
Symptom Recital 75
For an Amorous Lady 76
Take Me in Your Arms, Miss Moneypenny-Wilson 77
'The author loving these homely meats' 79
'On sunny days' 80
'The impudence of some people' 80
'While describing to her best friend' 80
'He marvelled at her breasts' 80
Alice is at It Again 81
A True Maid 84
A Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover 85
The Old Man's Complaint: By Mr. Wells 87
Always True to You in My Fashion 88
Love Me Little, Love Me Long 91
Elinor Glyn 91
Fatal Love 92
One Perfect Rose 93
Ich liebe solche weisse Glieder 94
Ending 95
The Trouble with Women is Men 96
A Word to Husbands 98
Autumn 98
St. Ives 99
Hot and Cold 99
The Mistake 100
Sucking Cider Through a Straw 101
The Newlyweds 102
On Kant's Definition of Marriage in The Metaphysics of Ethics 103
Spectator ab extra 107
Recipe for a Salad 108
Peas 109
The Bun 109
Sonnet to Vauxhall 110
Smelt and Tasted 111
Heard and Seen 112
The 'Satire' 113
The Comming of Good Luck 113
Blisse 114
Divided Destinies 115
Look for the Silver Lining 117
Hotel 118
Praise is a Mirror 119
The Nightmare 120
Complaint to Four Angels 123
Epigram V.9 125
Epigram IV.70 125
I've been to a Marvellous Party 126
The Party Next Door 130
Evening Musicale 132
Stately as a Galleon 133
A Literary Dinner 135
Vers de Societe 136
How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear 141
Posterity 143
Henry King 144
The Purist 145
Upon Clunn 146
The Tank 148
Miss Clegg 149
Mad Dogs and Englishmen 150
Lines for Cuscuscaraway and Mirza Murad Ali Beg 154
Yes and No 157
The Latest Decalogue 158
I Had Duck-billed Platypus 159
In a Copy of More's (or Shaw's or Wells's or Plato's or Anybody's) Utopia 161
On a General Election 162
The Solution 162
Low Down Sandcastle Blues 163
A Modest Politician 164
Epitaph on a Politician 164
Lord Finchley 164
The Pacifist 164
The World State 165
Lord Lundy 166
There Lived a King 170
The Ewart Organization 172
Guns Before Butter 173
High Sugar 174
Bloomsbury Snapshot 177
Reproof Deserved, or After the Lecture 178
The Black Box 180
Cacoethes Scribendi 181
On His Books 181
From The Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel 182
'You cannot hope to bribe or twist' 184
'A critic is a creature who has views' 184
On a Lady who P - st at the Tragedy of Cato 185
Academic 185
To Minerva 186
Philological 186
The Uncertainty of the Poet 187
The Pig 191
The Wasp 191
The Frog Prince 192
The Frog 194
The Octopus 195
The Eel 195
The Rabbit 195
To a Mouse 196
Mouse 198
Carp 198
Epigram III.35 ('Instant Fish') 199
To a Fish 199
A Fish Answers 200
The Python 201
The Cobra 202
An Appeal to Cats in the Business of Love 202
The Blind Sheep 203
The Grackle 204
The Hippopotamus 204
The Hippopotamus Song 205
Mollusc 207
Epigram ('I am his Highness' dog') 208
The Dog 208
The Cow 208
The Louse 209
The Bunyip 210
Opportunity 213
Mr. Jones 213
L'Enfant glace 213
Nothing to Fear 214
My Dad was Worried 215
Lean Gaius 215
To His Skeleton 216
Arithmetic on the Frontier 217
Waste 219
Yes, I Know 219
All Things Pass 219
A Toccata of Galuppi's 220
'Give me a doctor' 224
On Mary Ann 225
On Will Smith 225
At Potterne, Wiltshire 225
Epigram I.16 226
Epitaph on Charles II 226
Here Lies a Philosopher 266
'The angler rose' 227
Epitaph on an Unfortunate Artist 227
From Tombstones in the Starlight 228
A Dentist 229
At Great Torrington, Devon 229
At Aberdeen 229
Epitaph in St. Olave's, Southwark, on Mr. Munday 230
On a Tired Housewife 230
Acknowledgments 231
Index of Authors 239
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