Laughing Time

By William Jay Smith b. 1918
It was laughing time, and the tall Giraffe
Lifted his head, and began to laugh:

Ha! Ha!    Ha! Ha!

And the Chimpanzee on the gingko tree
Swung merrily down with a Tee Hee Hee:

Hee! Hee!    Hee! Hee!

“It’s certainly not against the law!”
Croaked Justice Crow with a loud guffaw:

Haw! Haw!    Haw! Haw!

The dancing Bear who could never say “No”
Waltzed up and down on the tip of his toe:

Ho! Ho!    Ho! Ho!

The Donkey daintily took his paw,
And around they went:  Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw!

Hee-Haw!    Hee-Haw!

The Moon had to smile as it started to climb;
All over the world it was laughing time!

Ho! Ho!    Ho! Ho!    Hee-Haw!    Hee-Haw!
Hee! Hee!    Hee! Hee!    Ha! Ha!    Ha! Ha!

William Jay Smith, "Laughing Time" from Laughing Time: Collected Nonsense. Copyright © 1980 by William Jay Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Source: Laughing Time: Collected Nonsense (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1980)

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Poet William Jay Smith b. 1918

Subjects Pets

Biography

William Jay Smith told Contemporary Authors: "I am a lyric poet, alert, I hope, as my friend Stanley Kunitz has pointed out, 'to the changing weathers of a landscape, the motions of the mind, the complications and surprises of the human comedy.' I believe that poetry should communicate: it is, by its very nature, complex, but its complexity should not prevent its making an immediate impact on the reader. Great poetry must have . . .

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SUBJECT Pets

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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