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Modern-Day Whimsical Poetry American Poets

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  • 1. Modern-DayWhimsical Poetry American Poets
  • 2. Jack Prelutsky1940-present:Id always enjoyed playing withlanguage, but I had no idea Iwould be a writer. I discoveredwriting as a career only byaccident when I was about 24years old. I had spent monthsdrawing several imaginaryanimals, but one evening Idecided to write a little poem togo with each drawing. He is thefirst ever U.S. Childrens PoetLaureate.
  • 3. A Noble Knight-at-ArmsI am a noble knight-at-arms I ache to tilt at dragonsastride a noble steed, with my formidable lance,employed upon a noble quest but swifter knights dispatch them first,to do a noble deed. I seem to have no chance.Alas, Im unsuccessful, I hunt for monstrous ogresthough I ride from sun to sun, to eviscerate, but nay . . .my quest goes unrewarded, They prudently absquatulateand my deed remains undone. while Im yet well away.A paragon of chivalry, Im similarly thwartedI long to do no less at confronting evil trolls,than rescue any rescuable who sensibly evacuatedamsels in distress. their pestilential holes.Alack, Im ineffectual, Deterred yet undiscouraged,I find such damsels late, my resolve is never weak,and earlier delivered though regularly testedfrom an execrable fate. by my singular physique.
  • 4. But half the height of other knights,my girth is thrice as great.My mount is discommodedby my monumental weight.At best it barely manages an apathetic trot.My name is famed through all the land Im called Sir Lunchalot.
  • 5. The Lament of a Lonely TrollI am, alas, a lonely troll,My days are all the same,I seldom see a single soul,My neighbors fear my name.Because Im gruesome, grim, and gruff,Ive had no guests for years.The situations bad enoughTo drive a troll to tears.Im destined, it appears to meto live my life alone,But, desperate for company,Ive bought a telephone.Feel free to call me, night or day,No matter if I slumber,And furthermore, you need not pay Ive got a troll-free number.
  • 6. The ParrotsThe parrots, garbed in gaudy dress,with almost nothing to express,delight in spouting empty words . . .They are extremely verbal birds.Oblivious to all they say, they often talk the day away.At times they open up their beaksand ramble on for weeks and weeks.The parrots, when they voice a word,are imitating what theyve heard,and yet they seem to love to chat do you know anyone like that?
  • 7. A Group of MooseA group of moose, whose skulls were thick,attempted some arithmetic.Of course their efforts were no use,their minds were but the minds of moose.Addition was a hopeless act,and likewise, they could not subtract.Devoid of acumen and wit,they could not multiply a bit.Division was beyond them too,they clearly did not have a clue.Percentage just gave them pains,and fractions overtaxed their brains.Those addlepated moose were vexed,uncomprehending, and perplexed.Were through with math, they sadly sighed. . . .
  • 8. Those numbers have us moostified.
  • 9. A Famous MonsterI am a famous monsterwho roams from place to place,renowned by reputation,though few have seen my face.My arms and legs are scrawny,my torso is the same,my hands are both gigantic,theyre how I gained my fame.Unlike my raucous colleagues,who fill the air with roars,Im not by nature noisy,until I knock on doors.One knock is quite sufficientto make a door collapse Im called THE KNOCK-LESS MONSTER.Do I exist? Perhaps!
  • 10. Grasshopper GumboGRASSHOPPER GUMBOIGUANA TAIL TARTSTOAD A LA MODEPICKLED PELICAN PARTSELEPHANT GELATINFROG FRICASSEEPUREE OF PLAYTPUSBOILDED BUMBLEBEEPORCUPINE PUDDINGSTEAMED CENTIPEDE SKINSSQUID SUCKER SUNDAESFRIED FLYING FISH FINSMEADOW MOUSE MORSELSCRACKED CROCODILE CRUNCHThe school cafeteriaserves them for lunch.
  • 11. Waffles Give Me SnifflesWaffles give me sniffles,chicken makes me itch,toffee gives me toothaches,tacos make me twitch.Hot dogs give me fevers,ice cream gives me chills.If I nibble candy bars,Im green around the gills.Pancakes make me queasy,spaghetti makes me sneeze.As soon as I eat pizza,I get a weird disease.Peanuts gives me pimples,popcorn hurts my throat.One taste of macaroni,my body starts to bloat.Raisins give me rashes,bananas make me shake.If I bite a burger,I get a bellyache.The moment I try chocolate,I lose a little hair broccoli has no effect,its thoroughly unfair.
  • 12. Ogden Nash1902-1971:In the publishing field, Nash said that itwas the poor quality of themanuscripts he read that led him to tryto write. He attempted to produceserious verse in the style of theeighteenth-century Romantic poetsbut soon gave it up. He preferred toscribble comic verse on pages that hecrumpled and tossed across the officeto the desks of coworkers.Nash was one of the mostcommercially successful English-language poets of the twentiethcentury.
  • 13. The Romantic AgeThis one is entering her teens,Ripe for sentimental scenes,Has picked a gangling unripe male,Sees herself in bridal veil,Presses lips and tosses head,Declares shes not too young to wed.Informs you pertly you forgetRomeo and Juliet.Do not argue, do not shout;Remind her how that one turned out.
  • 14. A Watched Example Never BoilsThe weather is so very mildThat some would call it warm.Good gracious, arent we lucky, child?Here comes a thunderstorm.The sky is now indelible ink,The branches reft asunder;But you and I, we do not shrink;We love the lovely thunder.The garden is a raging sea,The hurricane is snarling;Oh happy you and happy me!Isnt the lightening darling?Fear not the thunder, little one.Its the weather, simply weather;Its friendly giants full of funClapping hands together.
  • 15. I hope of lightning our supplyWill never be exhausted;You know its lanterns in the skyFor angels who are losted.We love the kindly wind and hail,The jolly thunderbolt,We watch in glee the fairy trailOf ampere, watt, and volt.Oh, than to enjoy a storm like thisTheres nothing I would rather.Dont dive beneath the blankets, Miss!Or else leave room for Father.
  • 16. Tomorrow, Partly CloudyRainy vacationsTry peoples patience.To expect rain in the autumnExperience has tautumn,And rain in the spring and winterMakes no stories for the printer,But rain on summer coloniesbreeds misdemeanors and felonies.Summer cottages are meant just to sleep in,Not to huddle all day in a heap in,And whether at sea level or in higher placesThere are not enough fireplaces,And the bookcase stares at you starklyAnd seems to be full of nothing but Volume I of the like of Rutherford B. Hayes, and The Rosary by Florence M. Barclay,And everybody wishes they had brought woolens and tweeds instead of linens and foulards,And if you succeed in lining up four for bridge the only deck turns out to have only fifty-one cards,And tennis rackets grow frazzled and golf sticks rusty and bathing suits moldy,And parents grow scoldly,And on all sides you hear nothing but raindrops going sputter-sput, sputter-sput,And bureau drawers wont open and bathroom doors wont shut,
  • 17. And all attempts at amusement fail,Even reading the previous tenants jettisoned mail,Although naturally it would never have been jettisonedIf it hadnt been reticent.But you could stand everything if it wasnt for one malignant committee,Which is the one that turns the sun on again just as you are leaving for the city.Yes indeed, rainy vacationsCertainly try peoples patience.
  • 18. The HunterThe hunter crouches in his blindNeath camouflage of every kind,And conjures up a quacking noiseTo lend allure to his decoys.This grown-up man, with pluck and luck,Is hoping to outwit a duck.
  • 19. CeleryCelery, raw,Develops the jaw,But celery, stewed,Is more easily chewed.
  • 20. The DuckBehold the duck.It does not cluck.A cluck it lacks.It quacks.It is specially fondOf a puddle or pond.When it dines or sups,It bottoms ups.
  • 21. ChuckIm Chuck, the chore evaderand adept procrastinator.Ive got a lot of strategies Ill demonstrate them later.
  • 22. Shel Silverstein1932-1999:Silverstein beganwriting when he wastwelve years old. Hewould have preferred tobe playing ball withchildren his age, but hehad no athletic ability.Also, girls showed nointerest in him, so hebegan to write.
  • 23. RockabyeRockabye baby, in the treetop.Dont you know a treetopIs no safe place to rock?And who put you up there,And your cradle too?Baby, I think someone down heresGot it in for you.
  • 24. Shoe TalkTheres no one to talk with Ill talk with my shoe.He does have a tongueAnd an inner soul, too.Hes awfully well polished,So straightlaced and neat(But he talks about nothingBut feet feet feet).
  • 25. How Many, How MuchHow many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it.How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it.How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live em.How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give em.
  • 26. Homework MachineThe Homework Machine, oh the Homework Machine,Most perfect contraption thats ever been seen.Just put in your homework, then drop in a dime,Snap on the switch, and in ten seconds time,Your homework comes out, quick and clean as can be.Here it is nine plus four? and the answer is three.Three?Oh me . . .I guess its not as perfectAs I thought it would be.
  • 27. HingesIf we had hinges on our headsThere wouldnt be no sin,Cause we could take the bad stuff outAnd leave the good stuff in.
  • 28. Headphone HaroldHeadphone Harold wore his headphonesThrough the night and through the day.He said, Id rather hear my musicthan the dumb things people say.In the citys honkin traffic,He heard trumpets stead of trucks.Down the quiet country back roadsHe heard drums instead of ducks.Through the patterin springtime showersHe heard guitars instead of rain.Down the track at the railroad crossinHe heard the trombones not the train.
  • 29. Theodore Geisel1904-1991:Geisel, better knownunder his pseudonym"Dr. Seuss," was"probably the best-lovedand certainly the best-selling childrens bookwriter of all time," wroteRobert Wilson of the NewYork Times Book Review.He entertained severalgenerations of youngreaders with his zanynonsense books.
  • 30. VroomsOn a world near the sun live two brothers called VROOMSWho, strangely enough, are built sort of like broomsAnd theyre stuck all alone up there high in the blueAnd so, to kill time, just for something to doEach one of these fellows takes turns with the otherIn sweeping the dust off his world with his brother.
  • 31. Too Many DavesDid I ever tell you that Mrs. McCaveHad twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?Well, she did. And that wasnt a smart thing to do.You see, when she wants one and calls out, Yoo-Hoo!Come into the house, Dave! she doesnt get one.All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!This makes things quite difficult at the McCavesAs you can imagine, with so many Daves.And often she wishes that, when they were born,She had named one of them Bodkin Van HornAnd one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.And one of them Shadrack. And one of them Blinkey.
  • 32. And one of them Stuffy. And one of them Stinkey.Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.Another one Marvin OGravel Balloon Face.And one of them Ziggy. And one Soggy Muff.One Buffalo Bill. And one Biffalo Buff.And one of them Sneepy. And one Weepy Weed.And one Paris Garters. And one Harris Tweed.And one of them Sir Michael Carmichael ZuttAnd one of them Oliver Boliver ButtAnd one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate . . .But she didnt do it. And now its too late.
  • 33. If We Didnt Have BirthdaysIf we didnt have birthdays, you wouldnt be you.If youd never been born, well then what would you do?If youd never been born, well then what would you be?You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.Or worse than all that . . .Why, you might be a WASNT!A Wasnt has no fun at all. No, he doesnt.A Wasnt just isnt. He just isnt present.But you . . . You ARE YOU! And, now isnt that pleasant!
  • 34. Themes of These Whimsical Poets: Dont Take Life Too Seriously Appreciate Life and People Find Delight in Ordinary Things Create Puns and Fun with Words