Probably my very favorite poem is one that gets passed around in various versions as by 'Anonymous', and I'm not sure if it ever had a name at all. The author is actually Niki Nymark, a poet from St. Louis, and it was published, years ago, in the Mensa national newsletter. When reciting it aloud, remember to include a slight shrug on 'stepping in gum' and an exasperated emphasis on 'coped':
There have been no dragons in my life.
Only small spiders, and stepping in gum…
I could have coped with dragons.
There are, however, others. Piet Hein (1905-1996), a Danish physicist, designer, and WWII Resistance member, started writing 'gruks' in 1940, shortly after the Nazi occupation of Denmark. (It's 'grooks' in English; he commented that he'd have been more careful naming them if he'd known there'd be so many – eventually over 10,000.) Altogether, he published over 20 volumes of grooks (two available in English at
along with various housewares based on his Superoval and Superellipse designs).
A MAXIM FOR VIKINGS
Here is a fact
that should help you fight
a bit longer:
Things that don't act-
ually kill you outright
make you stronger.
THE ME ABOVE THE ME
Giving in is no defeat.
Passing on is no retreat.
Selves are made to rise above.
You shall live in what you love.
THE ROAD TO WISDOM
The road to wisdom? — Well, it's plain
and simple to express:
and err again
And, finally, a few poems by Ogden Nash (1902-1971):
THE KITTEN *
The trouble with a kitten is
Eventually it becomes a
The turtle lives twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.
THE COW **
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.
* Which is not to say there's anything wrong with that… Emc^2
** Anybody else immediately think of Da-Iry???