Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. This week, my focus is on lighthearted poetry because it’s both Poetry Month and Humor Month. And we’re celebrating Haiku because April 17 is officially Haiku Day. Traditionalists will not be happy that I am looking for humor in Haiku, but these are unconventional times. Plus, Senryu, Haiku’s sister form, is often naturally lighthearted.

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.


The Crux of Haiku

Over the more than a thousand years that Haiku poetry has existed, the original rigidity of three short lines of 5 – 7 – 5 syllables, has loosened, but Haiku’s other elements are largely in place: non-rhyming, focused on a brief moment in time that provides sudden illumination, vivid imagery, related to the seasons or some other element of nature. Here’s an example with an element of whimsy:

ground squirrel
balancing its tomato
on the garden fence
- Don Eulert

Senryu, on the other hand is about human nature, and is often satiric. Kathy Lippard Cobb, wrote an article about the two forms and included this example of her own:

men o pause. . .
the men suck in their guts
as a blonde walks by

The Quirky Quote

Ogden Nash had the ability to put budding poets at ease by keeping many of his poems short and making up a word when no ordinary rhyme existed, implying that you can, too. Case in point:

Is gharsley.

Featured Product
This week we are naturally highlighting the Pleasing Poetry slide show available at Many people are intimidated by poetry, so almost all of the trivia quizzes, word games and other exercise in these 115 slides, focus on humorous poetry (limericks, anyone?) and simple forms to build confidence. See an example in the excerpt below of one of the featured word games. Order it here now.

The Quiz
This quiz is an excerpt from the slide show Pleasing Poetry. More information above.

1. Shake and shake
The catsup __________
First none'll come
And then a lot'll.
~ Richard Armour
2. Nothing attracts
The mustard from wieners
As much as the slacks
Just back from the __________.
~ Richard Armour
3. The parsnip, children, I repeat,
Is simply an anemic beet.
Some people call the parsnip edible;
Myself, I find this claim __________.
~ Ogden Nash
4. When packing for a trip abroad,
I know this may sound funny:
Pack half the clothes you think you need
And twice as much the __________.
~ Charles Ghigna
5. I always buy clothes
With my wife on the spot
To let me know whether
I like them or _________.
~ Henry Hill
6. My wife complains about her hair,
But she has no excuse;
For hers is only turning gray
While mine is turning _________.
~ Charles Ghigna

Answers at the end of the document.

The Shameless Request

  1. I believe these weekly posts could be used by activity leaders in senior centers and residential care settings, as well as home health aides with their patients. If you know one – or know a senior – please pass this post on.
  2. I also believe these weekly posts could be used by families and homeschooled students. If you know one of those, please pass this post on.
  3. If you represent an organization that would like a customized version of Wiser Now Wednesday, please send me a note at

The Question
Do you have a favorite poem or poet? Please share it on my Wiser Now Facebook page and with your friends as well. Let’s spread beautiful and/or funny words and connect with others.

The Kiosk of Resources

Answers to the quiz
1. bottle
2. cleaners
3. incredible
4. money
5. not
6. loose
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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