Oscar Kenshur: What Makes Light Verse Light?


What makes light verse light?
Short lines might
Be one ingredient.
Though too short’s sometimes inexpedient,
The lack of words will often be
What makes a verse light as a flea
And if it’s fleas of which we speak
And jesting jingles that we seek
Then we’ll of course recall
The verse that’s lightest of them all:
(Adam
Had ’em.)

Using rhymes that seem silly
And leap forth willy-nilly
For lightness qualifies,
As can nonsense that defies
All logical limitation
But finds space in the imagination.
So walking oysters are okay
As long as you can picture them that way
Even Jumblies won’t be strictured
Whether or not they can be pictured

Parodies can be quite sprightly
While mocking only lightly.
At times, they can even raise
Mockery to the edge of praise.
But mockery of those who disgust you
Is satire that light verse can’t adjust to
So when our scorn for Trump we once let fly
Then we must, alas, kiss light verse goodbye.