Tag Archives: Humor

WaPo’s Petri Plays Shakespearean Fool

Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri has been having a lot of fun with Trump supporters’ attack on “Julius Caesar.” Here are some of her funniest barbs.

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Poems on Mayweather, Manziel, Rivera

“The Daily Sports Poem” blog has poems that perfectly capture a wide range of sporting events.

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Jane Austen Answering Machine Messages

Answering machine messages as Austen characters would have composed them

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Theological Clerihews – Heaven & Mirth

The clerihew form can wittily articulate major theological questions.

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Quiz: Identify These Famous Figures

Two wonderfully light poems give readers a chance to test their knowledge of cultural history.

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The Cosmic Meaning of Flushing Flies

I don’t know how deep my father’s qualms go about flushing a fly down a toilet bowl. At the very least, the prospect makes him think twice and look for a larger message, as he does in the following comic poem.

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Mark Twain Made Humor Matter

It is Mark Twain’s unrivaled ability to combine both laughter and enlightenment that makes him continually relevant.

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Huck Finn vs. CBS in the 1960’s

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain         This past Friday was the 125 anniversary of Huckleberry Finn, a book that packed a wallop when it came out in 1885 and has continued to be controversial ever since.  Last May I wrote a series of posts on Huckleberry Finn, including on its importance to me as a child […]

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The Jane Austen Punishments List

It’s the last day of the semester (except for exams) and I’m swamped by term papers from my three courses. As a break from writing my own post on Jane Austen, therefore, I share with you a very funny item that I picked up from the Jane Austen Information Page. In addition to more serious […]

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“My Habits . . . Would Assassinate You”

   As a change of pace, I turn today’s column over to my very good friend and department chair, Mark Twain expert Ben Click.  Ben is a 6’6″ Texan who is the funniest man I know and a kind of Mark Twain figure himself. His courses on the man who called himself “the American” have […]

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Swollen Hemingways? See a Doctorow

Terence Winch    As we move into the flu season, here’s a fun poem that can speak to our anxieties about the H1N1 virus.  It imagines a whole host of literary stalwarts involved in the illness.  The poem is by the Irish American poet Terence Winch.  Thanks to my father Scott Bates, himself a wonderful writer […]

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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