The delight, and relief, of humour

A couple years ago, I attempted to write a humorous poem. I’d have to say, I’m not renowned as a comic turn, though I have experienced a few exalted moments of shared laughter at my own expense, during our folk club days.

I finessed and titivated my poetic efforts, as helped by friendly members of our writers group, until they felt as honed as ever they could be. I thought it was quite funny, I did. I thought to submit the poem, composed originally in iambic tetrameter, much like Lewis Carroll’s How doth the shining crocodile, to an American concern, Winning Writers, promoting their annual Worgle Flomp contest. But it turned out that there was a maximum line length, so I adjusted my effort to eleven stanzas in iambic heptameter, that is to say, seven iambs or feet of two syllables each. But no joy accrued on the competition, so my humour languished, unlaughed.

When created a new submission window for poetic turns, titled ‘April foolery and mirthful May,’ I remembered my effort, and sent it off with alacrity, reverting to tetrameter verse to fit the web page better. Unfortunately, after checking out the line requirements on this window, I discovered that I was at least four lines, and probably between verse spaces of some additional ten, over the maximum allowed. I set to once again to try to accommodate.

After much perseverance, I realised that I would have to carve my effort into two poems, each of six stanzas (which also necessitated creating a new stanza, so that was fun), and this would satisfy the submission requirement, since up to three poems could be proffered. And then I read my two poems and sent along the audio files as well.

It was such a delight to be chosen to be part of April foolery and mirthful May at And the company of other laugh-inducing poems elicited such a surplus of good humour, that I did laugh and laugh again at these contributions. Such wit and drive and cleverness! And such accessibility! I was so grateful to share this company, and to think that my effort must have had some humorous touches to entice the editors to share it publicly.

Meanwhile, since we’re settling in to our new home quite nicely, at last, I’ve been able to catch up on writing tasks. Not all, but some, and with any luck I shall get back into the daily discipline in earnest, so long as our somewhat evanescent broadband holds up, in the coming week. These small accomplishments contribute a pervasive sense of relief, especially since my third effort on an attempt to fillet out ‘good from bad’ turned into another wry laugh at myself and my idiosyncratic, if not frankly grumpy, ways.

When in doubt, laugh, especially at yourself!

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