What is Laughter after all? Just musing after watching "King Lear" in The Shakespeare's Globe Theater, London.


What is laughter?
An expression of delight
A celebration of happiness
Pouring fourth of ecstasy...

A release of pent up feelings
A nervous drive
A cover-up for embarrassment
A hiding of inner sorrow...

A sign of contentment,
of deep fulfillment,
expressed in a smile,
Lurking sweetly at the jaw-line...

A mocking mirth
A jeering at an opponent
A sarcastic remark
A guffaw of phoo-phooing-

Like the ancient Greek,
who viewed it as the
expression of derision or scorn...

An establishing of superiority
Over someone's inadequacy,
Inability or clumsy fright,
By making fun of his infirmity
or deformity...

Appreciation of a witty remark,
A joke, or banter...

A spontaneous reaction
At the absurdity of a tragic plight:
Like Charlie Chaplin once noticed
a piglet being chased through the streets
By a butcher with a knife-
A tragic-comedy, if you like...

Like King Lear Mocking the winds
To rage and pour fourth
And 'drown the steeples';
Or holding a mock trail with poor Tom
Banishing his daughters for their deeds-
A release of half madness arising from deep grief...

A hysteric laughter merging with sobbing
At the frustration of inability to deal
with deep anguish buried in the soul
Vying for release of some sort at least-

As Freud suggested that laughing was
Fundamentally a release of psychic frustration
Or nervous energy from within...

And yet Aristotle saw
laughing as
a sign of humanity-
Observing that human beings are
the only creatures who laugh....

So laugh, my friend!
Because laughter is Human
It's healthy, it's a release...

Author:Zoya Zaidi
Aligarh (UP), India
Copyright : Zoya Zaidi

Poetry by Zoya Zaidi
Read 974 times
Written on 2008-05-12 at 12:02

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Hi, Zoya: I visit the site after a long break. Enjoyed reading this one.
Trust this finds you well.

Hey Zoya,

Love this poem and I think everyone on this page can learn a little from this. We all love a word from each other, but a laugh from each other is even better. Just remember, just as a comment cost nothing, it doesn't cost a thing to smile or in this case, laugh either.

Christian Lanciai The PoetBay support member heart!
Quite a comprehensive not to say encyclopaedic exposition of this deeply human expression... It's far too seldom we have the pleasiure of reading you here, Zoya. Thanks for keeping in touch after all...



Stan Cooper The PoetBay support member heart!
Hi Zoya....

"human beings are
the only creatures who laugh...."...

What about the laughing hyena?

Really good poem...enjoyed reading it...

How about the giggle?

xxx Stan

its funny how good you feel after laughing...Thanx for brining a smile to my face after reading your fantastic poem...great work like always Z....