Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I haven't been reading much poetry to the Noodle recently. We just got out of the habit of it. When he was a tiny fellow we used to read a picture book (or two) every night, and then a couple of poems. We would read from When we were very young (given to the Noodle in the days after his birth by a family who have since become rather more prominent than they were at the time. In a good way, that is) or from my old Golden Treasury of Poetry edited by Louis Untermeyer. I chose this as my prize for being good at English in year 7.

We liked the short and funny ones best. 'Bears' was always a big hit, and also the one about rice pudding. Although the Noodle is quite fond of rice pudding actually, thanks to the cooking brilliance of his Nana. My favourite bit of the Golden Treasury is the epitaphs, even if most are apocryphal.

The other favourite poetry book was A poem a day edited by Adrian Mitchell. I have just realised that he died late last year, which is a sadness since his poetry is so lively and funny and apt to all kinds of moments that might otherwise be embarrassing or difficult.

One of our favourites from that collections is 'Daddy fell into the pond' by Alfred Noyes, but there are lots of other funny ones. And also serious, lovely, tricky ones as well. It also functioned as a handy science book because all the poems are designed around the northern hemisphere seasons, so it tends to remind that the earth is round. And should earth have a capital letter? I don't know.

So recently we have had a bit of poetry again and it makes a person laugh like a drain from time to time and also ask difficult questions. Which is good.


Man O' Sand said...

Capital E on Earth when referring to the astronomical entity - style guide nerd.

Mim said...

Arrrrgh! You've set off my auto-recite and I can't stop!

"What is the matter with Mary Jane, she's perfectly well and she hasn't a pain, and it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again! What is the matter with Mary Jane?....

...In the corner of the bedroom there's a great big curtain...

...James James said to his mother "Mother" he said said he "you must never go down to the end of the town if you don't go down with me!"

I'm not familiar with Alfred Noyes, it would appear that this is a situation I ought to rectify - I giggled :) There's something about the mental image of someone hauling their duckweed covered self out of a pond that guarantees hilarity. Bad Sir Brian used to elicit gales of laughter from my three. Mind you, the blipping on the head helps there too.

Penthe said...

Thank you Mr Style Guide.

And Mim, I used to love the brownie behind the curtain and James James as well. It never quite disappears from the memory banks.

I hope that the daddy was not as bumptious as Bad Sir Brian Botany, though.

Zoe said...

oh, and I've just come to the computer from reading Sage (6) poetry, one a book of funny stuff called "In the garden of badthings" and a few at random from "poetry is what", both of which I bought 2nd hand, having remembered them from my childhood.

Thanks for your suggestions - will track them down. I was just thinking tonight we need to expand our repertoire a bit.

Anonymous said...

Now you've got me going!

'King John was not a good man
He had his little ways,
and sometimes noone spoke to him for days and days and days.'

That was our personal favourite, possibly because we had a dad and an uncle called John.