By Gene Weingarten,
Brevity is said to be the soul of wit. Poetry is said to be the language of brevity. Ergo, short jokes told as poems are the language of the halfwit.
Each of my poems below is based on a joke that, in its original form, was fewer than 20 words long.
Your Mama So Fat #271,
In the style of a Victorian limerick
At the risk of appearing bourgeois
Re: your mother’s high avoirdupois:
Seems her 401(k)
Isn’t linked to her pay
It’s the size that is writ on her bra.
In the style of an Edward Lear quatrain
Why did the scarecrow wind up with first prize
When the civic awards were revealed?
The answer, I think, we can safely surmise:
Out standing was he in his field.
The Bagpiper’s Conundrum
In the style of Robert Burns
We’ve a question for ye then, for ye are auld and many things ye ken —
Tell us of those prideful bushy-legged men
W’ bag and pipe in tartan skirt and swaggered, knob-kneed pride.
Why do they stand not still — for as they play they stride?
The auld man smiled. Gather round, I’ve an answer for ye, boys.
The pipers walk because they hope to flee from all that noise.
The Blonde and the Jigsaw Puzzle
In the style of a Shakespearean sonnet
I knew one time a yellow-headed bawd
And gave to her a puzzle made of wood.
The pieces were in shapes both small and odd
For her to reassemble (if she could).
Set she right down to solve it true and fast
But days of work did no solution bring
Soon fortnights, months and seasons also passed!
And still she labored with the blasted thing.
It took twelve months, but fin’lly it was done
She seemed unbowed — discouraged not, nor sick
I asked her if the puzzle’d brought her fun
She said it had! She felt she’d done it quick.
With pride, she smiled and toss’d her golden locks:
“See — ‘four to six years’ says it on the box!”
Your Mama So Fat #398,
In the style of a Japanese haiku
mother turns faucet
water cascades from above
feet do not get wet .