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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Connecting humor with readers

The last two posting aimed to show you how to put the FUN back in funny, find Humor in the unfunny, and, hopefully, give you some serious ways to take your poetry into an entertainment mode.

Looking for levity as we write or revise our poems, not only lightens up our work, but uplifts our readers too. That thought alone connects us to other people, most of whom enjoy – or, more likely, need – a laugh, a chuckle to release pent-up emotions that build throughout the day.

Humor relieves tension.

Humor gives a cup of cool water on days when temperatures soar.

Humor evokes hope.

In the previous postings on humor, I used poems written from personal experience to illustrate the points I meant to make. The more you connect with those experiences or, perhaps, the more you can picture the scene portrayed, the more likely you’ll be to enjoy those particular poems.

As you recall your own experiences, think of episodes that did and did not seem amusing at the time.

Which episodes have you told your friends or family?

Which ones evoked laughter or made the best stories?

If you condense each experience into a poem, what are the highlights?

Will readers, who don’t know you, relate to the story?

For example, people who do their own laundry will eventually relate to this episode, which started as mine, but became theirs too - and maybe yours.

Whatever Happened to that Other Sock?
by Mary Harwell Sayler

Machines whet
no appetite
for socks. Washers,
dryers do not
eat the clothes
they clean, toss,
spin, or heat.
Sheets eat.
Sheets have pockets
where socks get stuck
and smother other
clothes in corners,
tucks, and all those
wildly billowing
Face it! They're lace
faced animals!
Sheets are cannibals.

The above poem has been included in the Christian Poet’s Guide to Poetry – the e-book version of the poetry home study course Mary wrote when none existed and used for years in working with other poets and poetry students.


©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. If you would like Mary’s feedback on your poems, poetry book, or children’s picture book manuscript, she’s still offering critiques for basically the same fee she had 30 years ago! For details, see Feedback, Fees, and Contact on her website.


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