I learned long ago that I was not likely to attract most students to poetry by using sonnets, Tennyson, or Longfellow; I had much greater success at the introductory level with doggerel.  Though not considered literature, these little poems are cute and memorable, and have inspired many a student to try their hand at the gentle art of poetry.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Love them or hate them–I didn’t write them.  (I should research and try to give credit to the authors, if known.  I’ll put it on my bucket list.)

Roses are red,

Violets are purple,

Sugar is sweet,

And so’s maple syrple.


I never saw a purple cow–

I never hope to see one;

But I can tell you anyhow

I’d rather see than be one.


A tutor who tooted the flute

Tried to tutor two tooters to toot.

Said the two to the tutor,

“Is it harder to toot, or

To tutor two tooters to toot?”  –Carolyn Wells


Willie saw some dynamite,

Couldn’t understand it quite;

Curiosity never pays–

It rained Willie seven days.


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I’m schizophrenic

And so am I.


I’d rather have fingers than toes;

I’d rather have ears than a nose;

And as for my hair,

I’m glad it’s all there.

I’ll be awfully sad when it goes.  –Gelett Burgess


Roses are red,

Violets are blue;

Some poems rhyme,

But this one doesn’t.


And, for good measure, these two anonymous limericks that you almost have to say out loud in order to appreciate:

A girl who weighs many an oz.

Used language I will not pronoz;

Her brother one day

Pulled her chair right away–

He wanted to see if she’d boz.


She frowned and called him “Mr.!”

Because in sport he kr.

And so in spite

That very night

This Mr. kr. sr.