Light verse (sometimes called light poetry) is poetry that attempts to be humorous. Poems considered "light" are usually brief, and can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play, including puns, adventurous rhyme and heavy alliteration.

Typically, light verse in English is written in verse, that is in lines of a regular meter; although a few free verse poets, such as Ogden Nash and Billy Collins, have excelled at light poetry outside the verse tradition.

Light verse is traditionally intended to be humorous, although humor is often a way to approach serious subjects. It has been said that writing light verse successfully is the most difficult of all intellectual accomplishments in order for the poet to be taken seriously.

A favourite form for light verse is the limerick. Some poetic forms have been invented specifically for light verse, an example being the double dactyl.

While light verse is sometimes condemned as doggerel, or thought of as poetry composed casually, humor often makes a serious point in a subtle or subversive way. Many of the most renowned "serious" poets, such as Horace , Alexander Pope, T.S. Eliot (''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and W.H. Auden, have also excelled at light verse.

Selected notable English poets in this genreEdit

In English, poets who are well known for their light verse include:


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


hu:Bökvers nl:Light verse

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