Monday, July 11, 2005

I've dug up an old New York Quarterly, to see if the impression which guided my post about the Poetry humor issue was right or not. The issue I found doesn't have a letter section, but here's a few samples from the 'Classifieds, Personals, and Services' section, which is laid out like a newspaper's classifieds.

"The cry of the Duwi Bird in East Africe is often mistaken by local poets for the sound of a dying rhinoceros.
This year's Ptolemy Award, given for the best long poem written on a scientific subject that is out of date, was bestowed on Benjamin Terrace of the South Bronx, for his 1654 line poem, "HOW DUCKS STAY AFLOAT," which includes an exhaustive detail image description of the pneumatic property of tailfeathers.
Each Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m., a group of psychiatrists get together and read their poetry to each other. Then they talk about all the things bothering them. This goes on for an hour or so, then coffee and cookies are served. If you're a psychiatrist and you write poetry and you have lots of things bothering you, this group is for you. $100 per group session covers cost of coffee, cookies, poetry reading. Leave name and number with answering service, we'll get back to you. 242-9876
Although Milton claimed he tried hard not to rhyme PARADISE LOST, occasionally a stray end rhyme sneaked in here or there.
It took Picasso many years to get over his Blue Period."

It's interesting to note that NYQ did not segregate its humor, either by issue, from its other content, or from the non-poetry world. A matter of taste, I guess.

This isn't to say I didn't laugh at parts of the Poetry issue--some of it was very funny (though some poems/gags didn't even rise to the level of groaner). I just found the tone a little chummy. Like laughing at, not with, though it did go around.

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