Are you looking for Poems on Dark Humor? Then, all aboard my friend because this train’s only destination is the Dark Humor station and all about it.
Before we directly dive into poems on Dark Humor, let’s take a minute or two to understand what Dark Humour exactly is. So, that you can comprehend these dark yet strikingly beautiful Poems on Dark Humor.
What is Dark Humor?
Dark Humor, or also commonly known as Black Humor is the most used literary device in literature. This particular literary device is employed when the author tends to discuss subjects that are not usually talked about in society. Basically, the subjects that are tabooed in our society. There exist various definitions describing what dark humor is, but the basic one is to put forth a taboo subject in a very subtle way.
As far as I could understand, the intention of a Dark Humor writer or the poems on dark humor not only to explore serious issues but to make its spectators question. And force them to ponder upon these serious questions. There are sometimes variations in dark humor as some of the writers add an element of comic relief just to present serious issues in a non-serious way.
Since the origin of literature poetry has been and become a very powerful weapon which used for making the masses aware of these painful and gruesome acts in context to the Black Humor.
These famous Dark Humor rhymes in this article are just a few of the chosen ones from a plethora of dark humor poems available. Some of them are long, while some are crisp ad short-funny poems dealing with gruesome subjects which are quite disturbing. As they range from has some disturbing apocalyptic nursery poems to the subjects of death and the end of the entire humankind.
I hope you enjoy reading the article on Poems on Dark Humor!
1. Do you remember the – By Charles Baudelaire
“Do you remember the sight we saw, my soul,
that soft summer morning
round a turning in the path,
the disgusting carcass on a bed scattered with stones,
its legs in the air like a woman in need
burning its wedding poisons
like a fountain with its rhythmic sobs,
I could hear it clearly flowing with a long murmuring sound,
but I touch my body in vain to find the wound.
I am the vampire of my own heart,
one of the great outcasts condemned to eternal laughter
who can no longer smile?
Am I dead?
I must be dead.”
― Charles Baudelaire
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so, he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so, he opens his throat to sing
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
3. Nothing but Death – By Pablo Neruda
“There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in its darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck, we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.
And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.
Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.
Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
Nevertheless, its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.
I’m not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the Color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber Color of embittered winter.
But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.
Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.”
4. Hickory Dickory Dock- Alicia Vannoy
Hickory Dickory Dock
Mankind Is on the Clock
I greatly fear that End is Near
Hickory Dickory Dock
5. A Challenge to The Dark -by Charles Bukowski
“Shot in the eye
Shot in the brain
Shot in the ****
Shot like a flower in the dance
Amazing how death wins hands down
Amazing how much credence is given to idiot forms of life
Amazing how laughter has been drowned out
Amazing how viciousness is such a constant
I must soon declare my own war on their war
I must hold to my last piece of ground
I must protect the small space I have made that has allowed me life
My life, not their death
My death, not their death…”
6. We Grow Accustomed to The Dark – by Emily Dickinson
“We grow accustomed to the Dark –
When light is put away –
As when the neighbour holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye
A Moment – We uncertain step
For newness of the night –
Then – fit our Vision to the Dark –
And meet the Road – erect –
And so, of larger – Darkness’s –
Those Evenings of the Brain –
When not, a Moon disclose a sign –
Or Star – come out – within –
The Bravest – grope a little –
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead –
But as they learn to see –
Either the Darkness alters –
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight –
And Life steps almost straight.”
7. Off to School- By Paula Goldsmith
“Off to School
Off to school, we must go,
I really want to say no,
Mom said no staying home.
Off to learn reading and arithmetic,
I sure hope the day goes by quick,
now home to read about Rome.
Daddy help me with my math,
I need to hurry so I can get a bath,
Off to dreamland I now will roam.”
8. Goblin Market- By Christina Rossetti
“Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Apricots, strawberries; —
All ripe together
In summer weather, —
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”
Related: The poem is a bit longish than usual poems, please read the full poem here.
On number 8th in our list of poems on dark humor is Rossetti’s, Goblin Market. The poem though written in very sing-song quality tricks the readers to believe that it’s just some nursery rhyme. However, the scene with the goblins greatly similar to the rape scene which is extremely gruesome to exist in child poetry.
9. Jack and Jill- By Alicia Vannoy
“Jack and Jill
Went to refill
Their very last water container.
They were ambushed at once,
And then eaten for lunch.
The only thing left?
Parody of the famous Jack and Jill nursery rhyme is put under the banner of apocalyptic nursery rhymes which talks about cannibalism the sole reason to include in the poems on dark humor.
10. Little boy blue- Alicia Vannoy
“Little boy blue,
Come blow your horn,
The Zombies are coming,
The town must be warned
Where is the boy meant to sound,
Well, it’s harder to play,
When you’re missing an arm.”
11. A Hymn to Childhood- By Li-Young Lee
“Childhood? Which childhood?
The one that didn’t last?
The one in which you learned to be afraid
of the boarded-up well in the backyard
and the ladder to the attic?
The one presided over by armed men
in ill-fitting uniforms
strolling the streets and alleys,
while loudspeakers declared a new era,
and the house around you grew bigger,
the rooms farther apart, with more and more
The photographs whispered to each other
from their frames in the hallway.
The cooking pots said your name
each time you walked past the kitchen.
And you pretended to be dead with your sister
in games of rescue and abandonment.
You learned to lie still so long
the world seemed a play you viewed from the muffled
safety of a wing. Look! In
run the servants screaming, the soldiers shouting,
turning over the furniture,
smashing your mother’s china.
Don’t fall asleep.
Each act opens with your mother
reading a letter that makes her weep.
Each act closes with your father fallen
into the hands of Pharaoh.
Which childhood? The one that never ends? O you,
still a child, and slow to grow.
Still talking to God and thinking the snow
falling is the sound of God listening,
and winter is the high-ceilinged house
where God measures with one eye
an ocean wave in octaves and minutes,
and counts on many fingers
all the ways a child learns to say Me.
The one from which you’ll never escape? You,
so slow to know
what you know and don’t know.
Still thinking you hear low song
in the wind in the eaves,
story in your breathing,
grief in the heard dove at evening,
and plenitude in the unseen bird
tolling at morning. Still slow to tell
memory from imagination, heaven
from here and now,
hell, from here and now,
death from childhood, and both of them
12. Twinkle Twinkle- Alicia Vannoy
“Twinkle, Twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are.
Asteroid hurtling through space,
Soon to crash the human race.
Earthquakes, dust clouds, Tidal waves
Let’s just go and live in the caves.”
All the poems included in this article of poems on dark humor range from being funny poems to poems deal with darkness, death, and despair. The dark humor poems are written to incite people into questioning the things which are generally never talked about in society.
Poetry as a genre is more than just a genre it a powerful emotion that overcomes us while reading it. It runs in our veins as we read it. Poetry is more than just poetry if read from an aesthetic perspective.
I hope you enjoyed read these selected 12 poems on dark humor. If you’ve any suggestion then please let us know through the comments below. Also, feel free to suggest or share your own personal favorite list of poems on dark humor.
Related: Also, click here to learn Top 10 Poems of Emily Dickinson.