Nonsense verse, normally composed for humorous effect, is a form which is intentionally and overtly paradoxical, silly, witty, whimsical or just plain strange. It has a long tradition, particularly in English, being congenial to the absurdist streak in British humour.
Nonsense verse in this sense should be distinguished from humorous verse or from verse that is nonsensical but intended as of verse. In the latter case, the nonsense is an in-joke or , and there is an assumption that it would be taken as meaningful, and even deep, by some readers (whose taste is thus ridiculed). As previously said, not all humorous verse is . For instance a poem like,
Algy met a bear.
The bear met 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 being based on the incompatibility of word pairs such as elephant/flit, rhubarb/tree, whistle/cow which make grammatical sense but semantic nonsense. The poem ...
One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back-to-back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other. Please CONTACT US to send us any enquiries you may have. If I have items of interest I can put them online for you to see.
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