Worst Poet of the Year

We need a laugh this month. My friend, Stuart Lavis, sent me a video of Scottish poet, Walter McCorriscen, who won the “Worst Poet of the Year” award in 1979:

Dear Sir,

Never bite your fingernails

It makes your fingers lumpy

Never bite your fingernails

Your sincerely, Stumpy.

Walter was pure genius! But humour can also have its dark side. An unknown charlady wrote this in 1905:

Here lies a poor woman who was always tired,
She lived in a house where help wasn’t hired:
Her last words on earth were: ‘Dear friends, I am going
To where there’s no cooking, or washing, or sewing,
For everything there is exact to my wishes,
For where they don’t eat, there’s no washing of dishes …’

Unfortunately, it was her suicide note. Virginia Woolf wrote that the inquest jury said she was mad, “which proves once more what it is to be a poet these days.” And still does!

The nonsense of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll always makes me smile:

‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings …’

Everyone’s favourite humourist is Wendy Cope:

Bloody men are like bloody buses
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.
You look at them flashing their indicators,
Offering you a ride.

I’ll finish with McCorriscen:

My wife was poorly, Walter,

In fact, she’s so unsteady

I’ve had to carry her doon the stairs

To get my breakfast ready.


First published in Swindon Link

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