Peculiar Poetry is an original collection of over five hundred funny poems for teenagers and adults. The poems are a selection of the work of three contemporary English poets, Patrick Winstanley, Paul Curtis and Max Scratchmann. The collection covers a huge range of subjects, but all the poems have been selected for inclusion because, first and foremost, they are funny and secondly they are short, or at least comparatively short.
While the contributing poets might superficially be thought to be rather similar - white, 40-something British males - their sense of humour and the funny poetry it generates is really quite different. Therefore, you're the choice between approaching the collection according to the subject of the poems, or by author.
Patrick's funny poems are inscrutable, whimsical and wry - qualities which initially lent Peculiar Poetry its name. The poems are rather crudely categorised according to subject matter into collections of Animal Poems, Poems about Family Life, Poems about Famous People - which includes humorous poems about both historic figures and contemporary celebrities - Rude Poems and Odes and Ends - a ragbag collection of the uncategorisable.
In contrast, Paul's funny poetry collection is by nature both straighter and more twisted. The collection contains a number of longer narrative poems which are in effect straight jokes transformed into poems, the humour of which are immediate and unambiguous. At the same time, there are dark poems which are bitter, twisted or dirty, in which the funny elements are hidden beneath a thick layer of grime. The categorisation of Paul's funny poetry is a little more complicated, stretching innumerable sub-collections which range from the gentle introduction afforded by the humorous poems to the anatomical, scatological, and sexual delights to be found in amongst the selection of dirty poetry. The best approach to the poems is via Paul's funny poetry index, which provides an introduction and explanation of each category and suitable warnings to nervous readers.
The latest poet to join the Peculiar Poetry stable is Max Scratchmann, whose writing is prolific and varied. His style of choice is contemporary nonsense verse, with a particular penchant for Poems about Bad Children - cautionary tales in the style of Struwwelpeter. However, many readers will find the collections of Max's funny poems about love, heath, fame and the literary life provide a gentler introduction to his poetry.
There is the gentlest of invitations for poets to submit their own work, if it has that a particularly peculiar quality. The selection process is both haphazard and arbitrary, but if you're feeling inspired, the submission details can be found on the guest poets page.
Throughout the site, I refer to 'funny poems' to cover a whole panoply of things that might be considered broadly synonymous - light verse, humorous poetry et al. As I indicated in the introduction, the emphasis of the site is firmly on the funny, rather than on the poetic elements of the poems. An early reviewer of the site commented that the poems were genuinely funny, but that many of the poems didn't scan properly. My initial reaction was 'bollocks', but I have grown to see it as quite a compliment. I'd much rather present to readers a selection of really funny poems with deviant scansion, than perfectly formed, perfectly dull, iambic pentameters.