23 Funny Poems That Will Perk Up Your Day
We present some of our favorite funny poems that are good for a laugh. Whether about animals, family life or goofy people, they're guaranteed to make you smile.
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Funny poems that bring the laughs in verse
Were you conditioned by academia to think that love poems, short poems, funeral poems and other forms of poetry are stuffy, profound waxings on the natural world and the human condition? Think again. There are endless amounts of silly, whimsical and funny poems sure to give you a chuckle. Here’s a selection of our favorites: Some imagine fun fantasy scenarios, some are just well-constructed limericks that poke fun at nonsense and others are poems for kids that will make you think as much as they’ll make you laugh. Plus, check out these heartwarming inspirational poems.
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1. “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
Read the whole poem here, and check out more poems by Stevenson in his book A Child’s Garden of Verses. Some of these funny poems are a little long; for something shorter, check out these short jokes anyone can remember.
2. “A Snow Man” by Anonymous
Oh, the beautiful snow!
We’re all in a glow—
Nell, Dolly, and Willie, and Dan;
For the primest of fun,
When all’s said and done,
Is just making a big snow man.
Two stones for his eyes
Look quite owlishly wise,
A hard pinch of snow for his nose;
Then a mouth that’s as big
As the snout of a pig,
And he’ll want an old pipe, I suppose.
Then the snow man is done,
And to-morrow what fun
To make piles of snow cannon all day,
And to pelt him with balls
Till he totters and falls,
And a thaw comes and melts him away.
This charming poem comes from A Christmas Hamper: A Volume of Pictures and Stories for Little Folks. Check out these cozy winter quotes that will make you appreciate the season.
3. “Phantasmagoria” by Lewis Carroll
This is a long one, but TL;DR: The narrator encounters a mysterious specter in his house. When asked what he’s doing there, the ghost says …
“And as to being in a fright,
Allow me to remark
That Ghosts have just as good a right
In every way, to fear the light,
As Men to fear the dark.”
“No plea,” said I, “can well excuse
Such cowardice in you:
For Ghosts can visit when they choose,
Whereas we Humans ca’n’t refuse
To grant the interview.”
He said “A flutter of alarm
Is not unnatural, is it?
I really feared you meant some harm:
But, now I see that you are calm,
Let me explain my visit.
“Houses are classed, I beg to state,
According to the number
Of Ghosts that they accommodate:
(The Tenant merely counts as weight,
With Coals and other lumber).
Lewis Carroll, author of the children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and “Jabberwocky,” is definitely a master of funny poems. Read the whole poem here to see the rest of the playful banter between the narrator and the ghost, and check out Carroll’s collection Phantasmagoria and Other Poems.
4. “The Elephant” by Anonymous
An elephant slept in his bunk,
And in slumber his chest rose and sunk.
But he snored—how he snored!
All the other beasts roared,
So his wife tied a knot in his trunk.
Love them or hate them, limericks are some of the most common forms of funny poems. If you liked this one, here are more limerick examples.
5. “Monosyllabics” by Laura E. Richards
The black cat sat
In the fat man’s hat;
“Oh, dear!” the fat man said.
“May the great gray bat
Catch the bad black cat
Who has left me no hat
For my head!”
A large red cow
Tried to make a bow,
But did not know how,
For her legs got mixed,
And her horns got fixed,
And her tail would get
In her way.
A sad, thin ape
Bought some wide white tape
To trim a new cape
For his niece;
But a bold buff calf,
With a loud, rude laugh,
Bit off one whole half
For his geese.
Funny poems can be funny because of the way they’re written, as well as their subject matter! Every word in this poem is one syllable—and it goes on much longer than this! Read the whole poem here, and read these grammar jokes every English nerd will appreciate.
6. “Do You Carrot All for Me?” (author unknown)
Do you carrot all for me?
My heart beets for you,
With your turnip nose
And your radish face,
You are a peach.
If we cantaloupe,
Weed make a swell pear.
Who doesn’t love a good food pun? Here are some punny food pickup lines that will give you a chuckle.
7. “The Bashful Earthquake” by Oliver Herford
The Earthquake rumbled
And then he bumped,
And everything tumbled—
Houses and palaces all in a lump!
“Oh, what a crash!
Oh, what a smash!
How could I ever be so rash?”
The Earthquake cried.
“What under the sun
Have I gone and done?
I never before was so mortified!”
Then away he fled,
And groaned as he sped:
“This comes of not looking before I tread.”
Everyone makes mistakes. Read more about what happens to the earthquake here, and read more funny poems by Oliver Herford in The Bashful Earthquake and Other Fables and Verses. And if you want to be inspired by the beauty of the world, read these wonderful nature poems.
8. “Funny Young Fellow” by Anonymous
A funny young fellow named Perkins
Was terribly fond of small gherkins.
One day after tea
He ate ninety three
And pickled his internal workings.
We hope those gherkins were worth it! Here are more dill-icious pickle puns and jokes to enjoy.
9. “The Cat Metamorphosed Into a Woman” by Jean de la Fontaine
A bachelor caress’d his cat,
A darling, fair, and delicate;
So deep in love, he thought her mew
The sweetest voice he ever knew.
By prayers, and tears, and magic art,
The man got Fate to take his part;
And, lo! one morning at his side
His cat, transform’d, became his bride.
In wedded state our man was seen
The fool in courtship he had been.
No lover e’er was so bewitch’d
By any maiden’s charms
As was this husband, so enrich’d
By hers within his arms.
He praised her beauties, this and that,
And saw there nothing of the cat.
In short, by passion’s aid, he
Thought her a perfect lady.
‘Twas night: some carpet-gnawing mice
Disturb’d the nuptial joys.
Excited by the noise,
The bride sprang at them in a trice;
The mice were scared and fled.
The bride, scarce in her bed,
The gnawing heard, and sprang again, –
And this time not in vain,
For, in this novel form array’d,
Of her the mice were less afraid.
Through life she loved this mousing course,
So great is stubborn nature’s force.
Talk about a cat lady. This is a weird one—and it goes on! Read the poem’s much more profound final stanza here, and read more from this author with The Complete Fables of Jean de la Fontaine. Plus, here are some cat quotes all fans of felines will appreciate.
10. “The Purple Cow” by Gelett Burgess
I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
Short and sweet. If you’re looking for something more sentimental for, say, your mom, browse through these sweet Mother’s Day poems.
11. “Strong Beer” by Robert Graves
“What do you think
The bravest drink
Under the sky?”
“Strong beer,” said I.
“There’s a place for everything,
There’s a place for everything
Where it ought to be:
For a chicken, the hen’s wing;
For poison, the bee’s sting;
For almond-blossom, Spring;
A beerhouse for me.”
“There’s a prize for everyone,
There’s a prize for everyone,
Whoever he may be:
Crags for the mountaineer,
Flags for the Fusilier,
For English poets, beer!
Strong beer for me!”
You knew one of these funny poems had to be about drinking. Read the entire poem here.
12. “Perils of Thinking” (author unknown)
A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, “Pray, which leg comes after which?”
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.
Now that’s a thinker! Check out these clever jokes that will make you sound smart.
13. “The Attraction of Levitation” by H.G. Paine
“Oh, dear!” said little Johnny Frost,
“Sleds are such different things!
When down the hill you swiftly coast
You’d think that they had wings;
“But when uphill you slowly climb,
And have to drag your sled,
It feels so heavy that you’d think
‘Twas really made of lead.
“And all because an Englishman,
Sir Isaac Newton named,
Invented gravitation, and
Became unduly famed;
“While if he had reversed his law,
So folks uphill could coast,
It seems to me he would have had
A better claim to boast.
“Then coasting would all pleasure be;
To slide up would be slick!
And dragging sleds downhill would be
An awful easy trick!”
Thanks a lot, Isaac Newton! If you got a kick out of this funny poem, you’ll love these funny jokes about science.
14. “The Camel’s Complaint” by Charles E. Carryl
Canary-birds feed on sugar and seed,
Parrots have crackers to crunch;
And, as for the poodles, they tell me the noodles
Have chickens and cream for their lunch.
But there’s never a question
About MY digestion—
Anything does for me!
Cats, you’re aware, can repose in a chair,
Chickens can roost upon rails;
Puppies are able to sleep in a stable,
And oysters can slumber in pails.
But no one supposes
A poor Camel dozes—
Any place does for me!
People would laugh if you rode a giraffe,
Or mounted the back of an ox;
It’s nobody’s habit to ride on a rabbit,
Or try to bestraddle a fox.
But as for a Camel, he’s
Ridden by families—
Any load does for me!
Learn more quirks of the camel with the rest of the poem here. And if you love funny poems, you’ll get a kick out of the funniest books of all time.
15. “Have You Ever Seen” (author unknown)
Have you ever seen a sheet on a river bed?
Or a single hair from a hammer’s head?
Has the foot of a mountain any toes?
And is there a pair of garden hose?
Does the needle ever wink its eye?
Why doesn’t the wing of a building fly?
Can you tickle the ribs of a parasol?
Or open the trunk of a tree at all?
Are the teeth of a rake ever going to bite?
Have the hands of a clock any left or right?
Can the garden plot be deep and dark?
And what is the sound of the birch’s bark?
Now this is quite the play on words! English is a confusing language, so it only makes sense that poets would want to play around with it in funny poems. Looking to add more poetry to your bookshelf? Browse through these great poetry books.
16. “Mr. Nobody” (author unknown)
I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody.
The finger marks upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying round you see
Are not our boots,—they all belong
To Mr. Nobody.
Read more about Mr. Nobody’s antics in the complete poem here.
17. “The Stargazer” (author unknown)
A stargazer out late at night,
With eyes and thoughts turned both upright,
Tumbled by chance into a well
(A dismal story this to tell);
He roared and sobbed and roared again,
And cursed “The Bear” and “Charles’s Wain.”
His woeful cries a neighbor brought,
Less learned, but wiser far in thought:
“My friend,” quoth he, “you’re much misled,
With stars to trouble thus your head;
Since you with these misfortunes meet,
For want of looking to your feet.”
Sometimes, we all need to look a little more closely at what’s right in front of us. And, sometimes, we need to have some fun with these out-of-this-world space puns.
18. “Eletelephony” by Laura E. Richards
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)
Need more elephant-based humor? These elephant jokes will have you laughing your trunk off.
19. “The Table and the Chair” by Edward Lear
20. “The Theoretic Turtle” by Amos Russel Wells
The theoretic turtle started out to see the toad;
He came to a stop at a liberty-pole in the middle of the road.
“Now how, in the name of the spouting whale,” the indignant turtle cried,
“Can I climb this perpendicular cliff, and get on the other side?
If I only could make a big balloon, I’d lightly over it fly;
Or a very long ladder might reach the top, though it does look fearfully high.
If a beaver were in my place, he’d gnaw a passage through with his teeth;
I can’t do that, but I can dig a tunnel and pass beneath.”
He was digging his tunnel, with might and main, when a dog looked down at the hole.
“The easiest way, my friend,” said he, “is to walk around the pole.”
If you liked these funny poems, you’re sure to laugh at these funny song titles you won’t believe are real.
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21. “Why We Oppose Pockets for Women” by Alice Duer Miller
1. Because pockets are not a natural right.
2. Because the great majority of women do not want pockets. If they did they would have them.
3. Because whenever women have had pockets they have not used them.
4. Because women are required to carry enough things as it is, without the additional burden of pockets.
5. Because it would make dissension between husband and wife as to whose pockets were to be filled.
6. Because it would destroy man’s chivalry toward woman, if he did not have to carry all her things in his pockets.
7. Because men are men, and women are women. We must not fly in the face of nature.
8. Because pockets have been used by men to carry tobacco, pipes, whiskey flasks, chewing gum and compromising letters. We see no reason to suppose that women would use them more wisely.
Miller’s satirical funny poem was written back in 1914 and is featured in Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times, a collection Miller’s poems about suffrage.
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22. “The Horrid Voice of Science” by Vachel Lindsay
“There’s machinery in the butterfly;
There’s a mainspring to the bee;
There’s hydraulics to a daisy,
And contraptions to a tree.”
“If we could see the birdie
That makes the chirping sound
With X-ray, scientific eyes,
We could see the wheels go
And I hope all men
Who think like this
Will soon lie
A good reminder to simply enjoy nature as it is.
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23. “One Perfect Rose” by Dorothy Parker
A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet—
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;
“My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.
Well, a limousine would be nice … but don’t underestimate the power of giving someone a rose!