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Happy April: Silly April Fool’s Day poems

April 1, 2012

As April 1 approaches, I usually try to think of some clever blog prank, some claim I can make that will stun and astonish my blogging audience. Then I get mired in the fact that I can only think of completely ludicrous ideas nobody who knows me would believe (getting a literary tattoo) or things I dearly want to have happen, so much I don’t want to joke about it (book deal, job at the NYPL)

Instead,  I am going to celebrate the start of Poetry Month. Here, have some poems that make me giggle:

Shel Silverstein has so many delightfully silly poems that I can’t pick just one. I’d be amazed at how many I have memorized, if they weren’t all so short and catchy.  Sharp Toothed Snail is even better as a sound recording.


The saddest thing I ever did see
Was a woodpecker peckin’ at a plastic tree.
He looks at me, and “Friend,” says he,
“Things ain’t as sweet as they used to be.”

When I was in Edinburgh, I bought a collection of Roger McGough‘s poetry, pretty much entirely on the strength of the poem: “Ode To Macca’s Trousers.” Because he had written a poem about Paul McCartney’s pants!

Turns out… it’s based on a true story! This delights me to no end.

I am also guaranteed to smile at the mention of “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns but that’s mostly because of what Frisbee!Dave thought “Wee, sleekit, timorous beastie” meant, at trivia that one time.

I haven’t read nearly enough Ogden Nash to pick a good poem, but I know he’s a good source of delightfully absurd verse.

And since it is a Sunday, I leave you with this thought: When I was taking Old English, Professor Amodio told us the origin of the word “silly.” It comes from the word selig, which meant “holy or sacred” in Old English.

Therefore, whimsy counts as an act of worship.

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