My English teaching colleagues and I are constantly looking for great poems. Often, we like them to be short and quickly engaging. We use them as shared texts at the beginning of lessons. I've been writing jokes recently, and it occurrs to me that poems and jokes carry many of the same qualities: voice, pacing, and a strong pay off at the end. So I just tried out my theory. I took a Jerry Seinfeld joke and played with the formatting, turning it into a free-verse poem. I think the theory holds up. Take a look:
Dogs Are the Leaders of the Planet
Dogs are the leaders of the planet.
If you see two life forms,
one of them’s making a poop,
the other one’s carrying it for him,
who would you assume is in charge?
*Joke retrieved from http://www.mustsharejokes.com/page/Jerry+Seinfeld+Jokes. Lines manipulated by Andy Hueller.