Peter Cole Poet Title Photo of silly Pete

Punch Line Poems -

How to Transform A Joke Into a Poem

Punch line poems are one of my favourite poems to write. I get many of my ideas for them from joke books. A punch line is the last line of a joke or poem that makes it funny, silly and unexpected. How about this joke:

Why is a spaniel like a parrot?
Because the Spaniel's a cockertoo.

I liked this joke and thought it would make a good poem. So I wrote the poem Who's a Pretty Dog Then?

A spaniel is like a parrot,
It's strange I know but true.
For though they look very different
A spaniel is a cockertoo

copyright © Peter Cole 2010

AND THIS IS HOW I DID IT
I knew I wanted my poem to be four lines long and the second and fourth lines to rhyme.
I also knew that the last line had to be the punch line and the first line had to be the question.
So now I had:

A spaniel is like a parrot,
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
A spaniel is a cockertoo

My second line needed to rhyme with my fourth line so I wrote a list of words that rhymed with cockertoo
Blue, knew, new, grew, flew, shoe, true, do, who etc etc . . .

A spaniel is like a parrot,
Blue, knew, new, grew, flew, shoe, true, do, who etc etc . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . .
A spaniel is a cockertoo

I tried a number of different options until I wrote the line, 'It's strange I know but true.'
Then it just took a few more drafts to fill in the gaps. And the poem was done.