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Laughter-A-Medicine Stefanie N.R

By lisaasmeralda Feb 27, 2014 2055 Words
Laughter – A – Medicine (Stefanie Natasha Rich)
Laughter – A – Medicine, the title itself shows that the poem is about laughter. How laughter can be a medicine and what types of laughter that we have. The theme of this poem is all about laughter and how it can affects our life and the people around us. The poet presents the theme through a first person speaker, which is the poet herself. She describes what she kind of laughter that people use to do and some situations that causes the laughter. The first line of the poem; “Hahaha” shows the sound of laughter that we usually make. This is the common form of laughter and the intensity of the laughter grows by adding ha’s. The second line, “Laugh out loud” is taken from the abbreviation of LOL. It is a common internet slang that widely used to indicates something that is very funny. It is used for expressing bodily reactions, in particular laughter, as in text. In the third and fourth line, the poet said that we can laugh on anything and everything. Even if the situation is not funny, still there can be laughter. For examples, the poet describes a situation where someone was chased by a dog. The situation might be scary but here she said that it can be creates laughter. The fifth and sixth line, also illustrate an accident of someone that slipped and fell to the ground. The form of “Hahaha” is once again used in the fifth line. This shows that the poet is actually trying to give the idea that people can be very mean sometimes. The sixth line shows that the person is fell badly to the ground hard. However, we can still laugh at him even though he might be injured. Line seven until nine is about different situation. Here the poet still used the same idea of how laughter can occur in various situation or scene. A person will never get away from being criticize or the one to laugh at. The poet used this idea and shows the some people will make fun of others by calling them with funny names. The poet lists the names as monkey, baboon, round and jar-head. Again, the same “ha’s” form is used to in the seventh line. In line ten until twelve, the poet continues with the same description but in other situation. This time, the scene is between siblings where a brother was scolded by a mother and another brother is smiling and laughing at him. It says that the brother was punished for a mistake that was not done by him. The other brother is smiling “hahaha-no-an evil smile”, a cynical ways of smile to show that he is happy with his brother punishment. The last line, line thirteen and fourteen, questions the reader which type of laughter that belongs to them based on the situation above. The two last lines, is persuading the readers to try the laughter from the above situation and notice if the laughter actually means something whether it is positive or negative. This poem is a couplet as it consists of two stanzas. The tone of this poem is sarcastic from the beginning until the last line. The poet keeps on emphasizing the usage of the “ha’s” form to shows the sarcasm. But at the end of the two last lines, the tone changes to one that allows the reader to think on their own and questions themselves if they are ever experience it. The poet, even trying to influence the reader to take actions and make choices in order to reveal their own sensitivity through laughter. There are a few of symbolisms that I can identify from the poem. The first symbol is the word “Hahaha”. This resembles the sounds of laughter. The poet used this frequently in the poem. The last word from line 6, “hard” symbolizes the pain and ache that take place after the falling incident. Monkey, baboon, round and jar-head symbolizes the funny names that usually used by people to offend others. The names are created based on the characteristics and physical appearance of a person. “Monkey” can resembles the person personality that too hyperactive or “round” will remind you of fat and obese person.

Analysis of poem “Laughter – A – Medicine” – Stefanie Natasha Rich Is laughter really the best medicine?
Laughter is often addressed in the Bible. It is frequently used to describe a mocking or disrespectful response, for examples in the case of Abraham and Sarah who laughed at God when God tell them they will bear a child in their old age. Some verses use it as a sign of contempt, Psalm 59:8 “But you, O Lord, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.” Besides that, Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:2 said that “I said of laughter, ‘It is madness’, and of pleasure, ’what does it accomplish?’ He continues in 7:3, “Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy.” Both of these verses are true; a sad person may laugh to cover his sadness, and a person may cry although he is silently happy. Because of this, I personally believe that our own emotion has fail to gives us truth, laughter is not always indicates joy. It can also mean something else, such as anger, sadness, or derision. The poem Laughter – A – Medicine is written by Stefanie Natasha Rich which I personally think has been written in sarcastic or derision tone. I think that she wants to portray the concepts of laughter is no longer just like the one that we always think. In most cases, laughter is a great medicine.  It renews the spirit, warms the heart and brings you closer to the ones you love. You may have heard that laughing can be good for your health; however it depends on what you are laughing about. If you are hurting someone's feelings, humor can be a bad thing. This is what Stefanie trying to say in her poem. She wants to convey the reality that lies behind each and every laughter. Some laughter is genuine and can actually show the real sincerity and feeling. But there are that some that hide the real meaning or expression under different situation. From my personal point of view, I think that the poem is written in a sarcastic ways. From the first paragraph, I did mention about the theme of the poem is cynical and written in a sarcastic ways to describes laughter. How can I know? One of evidence is from the first line. The absence of exclamation mark can be a hint of sarcasm or indicate a polite, but unenthusiastic laugh depends on the context tone or facial expression. I think that the poet is actually mocking some people that behave inadequately towards others especially when the time or the situation is not suitable for them to do it. Sometimes, our actions can be unpleasant event if we do not mean it like that. So, that is why we always be reminded to think before we act. A proper manner will gives good impression to us. The context of the poem itself shows how laughter can be very hurtful to others. We can laugh at everything and anything even though the situation is not good. The poet is trying to shows that this kind of laugh has meaning behind it. However, their intention is not good and their laugh is not the kind of laugh that acts as a medicine except poison to others. For examples; from the poem, line 4 and 6;

Someone was chased by a dog
Someone accidentally slipped and fell to the ground hard
shows that the situation are terrible and for a regular person, we will automatically feel sympathy to that person. However, in the poems, it is vice versa. Some people are unkind enough to show their empathy, even if the person that being chased by a dog might be scared to death and the person that fell might injure themselves badly. It is just too funny for them that they can laugh mercifully. It is one thing to laugh with someone, but you know there is a problem if you are laughing at someone. This is a form of bullying, and someone could get his or her feelings hurt.

Someone was being called by names
Monkey, baboon, round, jar-head
This is what we called as verbal bullying which includes name-calling, making offensive remarks, or joking about a person's religion, gender, ethnicity, or the way they look. For example, if there was a group of kids who made fun of another kid by calling him round because he is so fat then these can be considered as verbal bullying. When someone kicks or punches us it hurts us on the outside, while when someone teases us or calls us names, it hurts us on the inside. Unfortunately, because they don’t leave scratches or bruises, people around us will never notice it. Here, the poet is trying to emphasize the situation where it is commonly happen to children and teenagers. To some peoples, it can be very funny, but to others it is insulting and offensive. Laughter can is also the best acts scene to hide our behavior whether it is good or bad. You can just smile or laugh to cover yourself, when deep inside, there are sadness and agony. You can also just smile to cover your mistake and fault. Sometimes, it is used to keep a secret that hidden in the past. When the past is to hurt to be reminiscing, then the best way is to conceal it with a smile. People will never be able to predict the past of others when all they see is a bright and cheerful person in front of them. The past with bad memories can actually leads people to behave beyond their nature. They might want to be stronger rather than let other to see their weaknesses and what is more important is to make sure that the past will never repeated. So, the best ways is to portray the so-call-happy face and gives the impression that he or she is actually living a happy life. "There's a lot of aggression and ill will in certain types of humor," said Mahony, noting that, despite humor's positive connotation, it isn't always beneficial. "The stuff that's going on right now, I think, is just a reflection of some of the negative aspects of human nature."Diana Mahony, is a psychologist and humor researcher with Brigham Young University and the author of "God Made Us to Laugh." I totally agree with her statement. There is distinction between laughing at the funny sides of cartoon program such as “Tom and Jerry” than “America’s Funniest Home Video”. Laughing at Tom the cat being prank by Jerry the mouse is totally difference from watching how we laugh at people that being ridiculously funny without the intention of being funny. They are not plan to be funny because it was unintentionally. Still we found it so funny that we actually forgot our rationality and humanity toward others. Laughing is an amazing expression. It can convey anything from true joy to uneasiness. It is fun to laugh with your friends as long as you are being positive. This could mean laughing at a funny joke or anything that is not offensive to another person. Laughter, at the right time for the right things and for the right reasons, is a positive experience. We all need to laugh more in order to be physically healthy. We are a redeemed people who know what really matters in life. That means we can laugh. Here is a rule that will help you draw the line: If you have to ask yourself if what you are about to say might hurt someone, then do not say it. 

Brownstein J. (2008) Why Pain Makes Us Laugh.
Retrieved on 2 May 2012 from,

The New Testament Psalms. The Gideons International, Nashville.

SEM 2 2011/2012

MATRIC NO: D20101038225

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