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A poem I read very recently is a humorous one by Alexander Kushner titled "Upside Down", which is all about a social mismatch nicknamed "upside down". The poem revolves around a laughingstock whose behaviour evokes humour through the use of exaggeration/ hyperboles and ironies. These techniques, however, seem to have a fine line between them.

For example, lines given below:

The circus came to town one day;
Of course he went without delay.
And everyone said Upside-Down
Was funnier than the circus clown.

Are the bolded lines above irony or hyperbole?

Moreover, is the poem really about a mentally-retarded person? The described behavioural aspects of the affected person seem exaggerated. If so, what seems contrary/ illogical is his aunt (who already knows about his disabilities) writing him a letter expecting him to read it properly.

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  • It's just a simple rhyme and opinion. It is very hard to judge poetry in translation. That said, this one seem rather straightforward. The person may just be what one site calls a social mismatch. Not someone with disabilities at all.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 17 at 17:02

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