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Hilarious Poetry Books

April 23, 2012 - Amy Phelps
April is National Poetry Month, so here's a few new humorous poetry books to entertain!

First off, for children is the wickedly funny, "Forgive Me, I Meant To Do It" by Gail Carson Levine with illustrations by Matthew Cordell.

The Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author is inspired by William Carlos Williams' famous "This Is Just To Say" poem, which she explains in the middle of the book and encourages kids to write their own false apology poems. (Please forgive her!) These funny false apology poems deal with everything from a worker bulldozing the bush in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle and charging for tours, to a brother ruining his sister's doll, Snow White's hidden contempt for the dwarves, a rival for Jill's affections in the classic 'Jack and Jill' rhyme, an alien who crashed into a young boy's window, what the witch might say to Hansel and Gretel, the cow's revenge on Jack and his beanstalk, the parents of a werewolf explaining his "condition," revenge on a bully, a warning to those who like to skip ahead in the book, an apology from Little Red Riding Hood's grandma that she left her to be eaten by the wolf instead and one from the woodsmen who was too busy enjoying his bubble bath and much more.

These are all hilariously wicked poems, and any kid who has been made to apologize for something they weren't sorry for will have a ball with this.

"Forgive Me, I Meant To Do It" is published by HarperCollins. It is $15.99 and is for ages 6 to 9.


For new parents is the equally hilarious, "To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born?" by Suzanne Weber.

Weber, a comedienne and writer and poet, tells anxious parents what their babies and toddlers are really thinking - with a tongue-in-cheek jaded humor. You think babies enjoy being swaddled? They're just mad they can't find their hands. Wonder what their cries really mean? Everything from 'I know you're never gonna let me get my nose pierced' to 'Global warming.' Or they're hungry. The baby's wondering why you couldn't splurge for a wipes warmer when you certainly would for other useless items. They see tummytime as a cruel exercise. They hate the nasal aspirator with a passion. And it's not that hard to figure out - "In my crib, I cry. In your bed, I don't."

These will give new and veteran parents the giggles as they picture the fed up baby!

"To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born?" is published by Atria. It is $16.


From filmmaker Ethan Coen, part of the Coen brother team that created "The Big Lebowski" and most recently, "True Grit," comes a collection of his snarky poems, "The Day The World Ends."

From a man's regrets about acting like the person he thought a particular woman would want and now is back to being himself, to the crazy things he wants to do the night of a full moon, Coen's poetry is weird and witty.

There's the question of will someone stay once his mind is gone, to wondering why he can't proposition a woman in a restaurant, to his conversation with a straight-talking therapist, Coen tackles all sorts of topics, from the serious to the outright silly or ribald. This is hard-edged poetry for grown-ups that will make you laugh.

"The Day The World Ends" is published by Broadway. It is $13.


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