Peeping Tom's Cabin: Comic Verse 1928–2008

X. J. Kennedy, Author . BOA $21.95 (118p) ISBN 978-1-929918-95-9 ISBN 978-1-929918-95-9

Accompanying Kennedy's forthcoming selected (serious) poems, this agreeably cantankerous, occasionally laugh-out-loud-funny volume gathers brief parodies, barbed rhymes, naughty couplets and other assorted not-so-serious verse, dating (despite the title) from 1956 to the present. Kennedy serves up, among other poems, 46 limericks, 19 clerihews, assorted off-color jokes, rewritten popular songs from the pre-rock era (“Suburban lawns with moles,/ Things full of holes/ Remind me of you”) and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” rewritten in the style of Sylvia Plath. Kennedy (The Lords of Misrule ) also offers “ghastly brats” (poems too grisly for, but otherwise suited to, his three collections of children's verse) and a portrait of Sigmund Freud as Santa Claus. The volume seems less substantial than most collections of light verse (perhaps because Kennedy's greatest wits have been relegated to a companion volume); some of the jokes about sex and drink sound dated. Yet this lighter side of Kennedy should please fans of John Updike's verse or of the line of mid-century upscale rhyming—from Cole Porter to the New Yorker —to which most of these poems belong. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 118 pages - 978-1-929918-96-6
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