Nonsense verseNonsense verse
is a form of poetry
, normally composed for humorous effect, which is paradoxical, silly, witty, whimsical or just plain strange. However not all humorous verse is nonsense. For instance a poem like
- Algy saw the bear.
- The bear saw Algy.
- The bear was bulgy.
- The bulge was Algy.
is humorous but not nonsense. Whereas
- The elephant is a bonnie bird.
- It flits from bough to bough.
- It makes its nest in a rhubarb tree
- And whistles like a cow.
is classic nonsense.
- One fine day in the middle of the night,
- Two dead men got up to fight.
- Back-to-back they faced each other,
- Drew their swords and shot each other.
- A paralyzed donkey walking by,
- kicked a blind man in the eye,
- Sent him through a rubber wall,
- into a dry ditch and drowned them all.
There is a long tradition of nonsense verse in English, Many limericks
for instance. Among the poets noted for nonsense verse are Edward Lear
, Lewis Carroll
, Ogden Nash
and Spike Milligan