POETRY AND COMEDY–closer than we think ?

This may seem a bit of an odd post at first for a poetry site as it has be born from the premise that poetry and comedy are closely linked at times. I have myself a comedy blog as well as this poetry site and have written both humorous limericks and free form poetry. I’ve mentioned that I have these two sides of my personality, the poet and the clown and of course humorous verse is plentiful and easy to find.

But then I was listening to an interview with controversial poet Geoffrey hill, a brilliant Alchemist of word who’s art is often regarded as difficult to access. It was a surprise to me to hear the following when asked what he hopes to do with the Professorship of poetry from Oxford, he replied

I welcome the opportunity to go over there once a term and perform one-thousandth as well as Ken Dodd,”


the way a comic will often stress the grammatically unimportant word it brings out a quite exquisite sense of the individuality breaking through the formula”

It seems to me that the comic’s humour is also derived from opening doors in the mind as does the poet. And like the poet comedy needs imagination and intellect in equal measure, both need to see not just look at our world and both can conjure images that create a physical, mental and beneficial reaction in their audience.

Below then are examples of one-liners,


Years ago I used to supply filofaxes for the mafia. Yes, I was involved in very organised crime.

The Grand Old Duke of York – he was a manic depressive. Well, when he was up, he was up…

My aunt Marge has been so ill for so long that we’ve started to call her I can’t believe she’s not better

My wife… its difficult to say what she does… she sells seashells on the seashore.

About a month before he died, my grandfather, we covered his back full of lard – after that he went downhill very quickly.

The pollen count, now that’s a difficult job. Especially if you’ve got hay fever.

Militant feminists, I take my hat off to them, they don’t like that.

When the boys at school found out I had a potentially fatal peanut allergy, they used to hold me up against a wall and play Russian Roulette with a bag of Revels !

I don’t do drugs, when I want a rush I get out of a chair when I’m not expecting it

I used to live next to a farm every time I passed the cows I’d inexplicably shouted abuse at them, turns out I’m dairy intolerant

I’m learning the hokey cokey, not all of it just the ins and outs.

I met a painter who only paints using Japanese rice wine, really it was just sake foe art’s sake

This bloke said to me ‘I’m gonna attack you with the neck of a guitar’ I said ‘ is that a fret ?’

‘Watson I’ve overdosed on Immodium !’ No shit Sherlock’

My friend got a personal trainer a year before the wedding, I thought bloody hell !

How longs the aisle .

Have you heard of the evil group who control the world’s cheese ? The hallouminati !

I’m very good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet, I don’t know why !

Polygamy – the art of Parrot-folding

3 thoughts on “POETRY AND COMEDY–closer than we think ?

  1. I hadn’t heard of Geoffrey Hill, another to check out. I certainly think there’s a link between comedy and poetry in that they (comic/poet) tap into the world around them, seeing more than looking, and are able to turn some seemingly ordinary thing into pure comic/poetic genius. I’m reminded of the recent comics I’ve watched/listened to, and imagination and intellect has to be there, too.
    These one-liners are absolute gems, Nige ! Funny stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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