on 11 October 2012
There are very few poets who can give your chuckle muscles a thorough workout quite like Kenn Nesbitt. In `The Armpit of Doom' this modern master of mirth (and heir apparent to Jack Prelutsky) delivers a fun- and pun-packed collection of verses that is guaranteed to register right at the top of any giggle-o-meter. Always witty, often clever and rarely, if ever, predictable, these are poems chock-a-block with laughs a-plenty and punch lines that always land bang smack in the middle of the funny bone.
So-called "light verse" often gets a bad name, especially amongst those - the anti-wacky brigade - who consider the purity of poetry to be tainted by its presence within the genre. But it is too quickly dismissed. True, there are many poems purporting to be so, which simply aren't that funny; poems that are so light (or, rather, slight) they float away of their accord and barely register. But "light" doesn't necessarily mean throwaway; genuinely funny poems still have to be well-crafted, and there is a great art to making a fellow human laugh. Nobody practices that art better than Kenn Nesbitt.
Children like to laugh. They need to laugh. You only have to look at America to see who the two best selling children's poets of all time are: Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. Both writers of predominantly humorous verse; both writers whose work has stood the test of time. More recently, Kenn Nesbitt has taken over the reins and his verses - as with Prelutsky's and Silverstein's - are brimful of original ideas, playful, inventive and often very wordy. There is nothing necessarily "light" about them. Above all, though, they're extremely funny. But don't take my word for it; buy a copy of `The Armpit of Doom' and see for yourself!