Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Dr. Johnson asks, "What poet(s) make you laff out loud? And do you think it's necessary to say why/"

What a great question.  Pound, Zukofsky, cummings, Byron, Chaucer, Ginsberg, Landor, Eliot, Ferlinghetti, Paul Durcan, Baraka, Ishmael Reed, Stew, Gary Snyder, etc., have make me laugh out loud on occasion.   Poetry doesn't tend to make me laugh out loud as often as movies do.  If it did, I'd read more poetry.  I think in McLuhan-esque terms, "What do various media do well?"  Movies do chase scenes and slapstick well.  Poetry does other things well,

I find the English candy scene in Gravity's Rainbow makes me laugh out loud more than any other scene.

Humor seems beyond my understanding.  It doesn't seem necessary to ask why one finds something funny.  I think of the entry on "Bisociation" in Everything Is Under Control by Bob Wilson.

1 comment:

  1. Almost every book by an serious intellectual or academic that I've ever read that tries to address humor was a dire thing to read. Two exceptions: Peter Berger and Murray S. Davis. Both guys are sociologists.

    Davis also wrote a very funny and scholarly book on sex: Smut: Erotic Reality/Obscene Ideology. I'll blog on it one of these daze.

    QUESTION for the Professor: What are some sources for the role of FORM in poetry? I've recently been delving into the history of the sonnet form, but I wonder if you could recommend some books or sections of books or articles on all sorts of poetic forms?