Date of Award
Through humor, poetry explores the imagination and the mind just as it does through other means of expression. Comic poetry finds the truth in the illogical and in the absurd; it finds what unsettles us through its use of surprise; it finds delight and play in the unknown and uncertain. By its very nature, comic poetry clings to the edges of what we know, so pinpointing its characteristics is tricky. But the shared characteristic of all comic poetry is the permission the poet grants herself to disobey boundaries. The poet chooses not to fit her works within the reader’s expectations, the reader’s sense of logic, or the reader’s definitions of things in the world. Some of the boundaries crossed come out of breaking out of poetic custom. Many poems break boundaries of thought and expression; a comic poet uses one or more of these techniques to bring her funny poems to profound places. The result is always the exploration of unexplored or underexplored territory.
Hartselle, Christian, "When Poetry and Humor Get Hitched" (2017). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 378.