About the Poems
by Jennifer Michael Hecht
I’ve got a new manuscript called Funny and most of the poems in it contain old jokes; the rest speak to the idea of funny in one way or another. As I wrote the book, sometimes the jokes provided a leaping-off point, sometimes they crept into poems later in the composition. I like this little group of the Funny poems a lot: the images of Gorilla have stayed with me a great deal since I wrote it; Mumba is one of the longest of the poems in the book, it takes it easy and spreads out—and gets a lot done I think; Blind Love is an impression that tacks down something very specific for me; the Orange poem has one of the silliest jokes in the book and takes it someplace scary; and the Sonnet pleases me because it says something I feel like saying (and hearing) and I really enjoy its rhyme and rhythm. The book was intended, in part, to get to know something about what’s funny and there’s an essay in Funny that sums up what I came to believe about jokes and poetry. But, of course, these poems are also attempts to express what’s on my mind, as much as any other of my poems are.