I Met a Lonely Octopus

A Funny Octopus Poem for Kids

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I met a lonely octopus
while sitting on a docktopus
and he began to talktopus
and this is what he said:

“Hello, my name is Jacquestopus.
I’d like to take a walktopus
perhaps around the blocktopus
or to the park instead.”

I didn’t mean to gawktopus,
but I was in such shocktopus
to meet a talking octopus,
I must have lost my head.

It seems I socked poor Jacquestopus
and knocked him off the docktopus,
and so that talking octopus
got fairly scared, and fled.

I hope someday that Jacquestopus
forgives me for the socktopus
and comes back to the docktopus
where he can meet my croctopus
who says his name is Fred.

 --Kenn Nesbitt

Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Reading Level: Grade 3

 


About This Poem

I love wordplay. According to Wikipedia, "wordplay is a literary technique and a form of wit in which the words that are used become the main subject of the work, primarily for the purpose of intended effect or amusement."

There are many of different kinds of wordplay that are commonly used by poets, songwriters, and humorists, including puns, tongue twisters, homophones, and more. This poem is an example of a type of wordplay known as a portmanteau. A portmanteau is when you combine two words to make a new word. For example, "brunch" is a portmanteau that combines "breakfast" and "lunch," and "spork" is a portmanteau that combines "spoon" and "fork."

But portmanteaus can also just be silly, as in this poem where I combined words such as "dock," "block," and "talk" with "octopus" to form words such as "docktopus," "blocktopus," and "talktopus."

One of the best examples of portmanteaus in poetry is Jack Prelutsky's series, Scranimals, including the books Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky.


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