There isn’t much in the way of humorous poetry for adults as there is for children. I guess…maybe…adults don’t like or appreciate funny poems the way kids do. I noticed that no one responded to my posting of an excerpt from Maurice Sagoff’s comic take on Beowulf last Friday.
Don’t most people enjoy a good laugh? I love a good satire. I love irony. I really like the way Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert use humor to expose the phoniness, machinations, and stupidity of politicians and public figures. For my money, The Daily Show and Colbert Report often give us “news” that is often more truthful than the “real” news programs.
I’ve chosen to post Did I Miss Anything? today because I think Tom Wayman uses irony to make his point. I think it would be a great poem to share with high school or college students at the beginning of a semester. What do you think?
From Did I Miss Anything?
by Tom Wayman
Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours
Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent
Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose
You can read the rest of the poem here at Poetry 180.
At Wild Rose Reader, I have a review of Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems by Kristine O'Connell George.