August 2, 1856

2 August 1856


My friend Parton, in his recent book, called "Humorous Poetry of the English Language," says, that he could find no Humorous Poetry by Women, worthy a place in his collection; and his mind seems to be quite exercised in the Preface, upon this question: Can women write Humorous Poetry, or—can they not?

I charge him no fee for my opinion, which is as follows:

1st. That women have not written humorous verses for the reason, that Poetry, with them, is the outlet, only, for the holiest, strongest, and deepest feelings of their nature; they approach it, as the priests of old approached the sacred ark, with bowed heads and clean hands.

2ndly. That in making this remark, I endorse the utility of Humorous Poetry in general, and this exhaustless fountain of fun, collected by my friend Parton, in particular; on the principle, that whatever shortens our faces, lengthens our days.

3rdly—lastly, concludingly, and conclusively, I would venture to add, that it may be lucky for the male sex, that our sex never felt inclined to try their hand at Humorous Poetry.

Source Text:

Fanny Fern, "Is It So? And If So, Why So?," The New-York Ledger (2 August 1856): 4

To cite this project:

Fanny Fern, "Is It So? And If So, Why So?," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018)