Tag Archives: nonsense poetry

The Guy Quote – Dr Seuss

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer and cartoonist most widely known for his children’s books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone. He published 44 children’s books, often characterised by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter (you know the ones. Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and so on). These were adapted in loads of different things – eleven television specials, three feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series.

He started using “Seuss” as a tag when he was caught drinking gin with some friends in his room (this was in the days of prohibition) and banned from extracurricular activities. The only way he could carry on writing for the college humour magazine – the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern – was under a pseudonym. So, without further ado…

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.

All alone!
Whether you like it or not,
alone is something you’ll
be quite a lot.

I’m afraid sometimes
you’ll play lonely games too,
games you can’t win
because you’ll play against you.

I’m sorry to say
so but, sadly it’s true
that bang-ups and hang-ups
can happen to you

ps – this is from Wikipedia on the poetic meters he used:

Geisel wrote most of his books in anapestic tetrameter, a poetic meter employed by many poets of the English literary canon. This characteristic style of writing, which draws and pulls the reader into the text, is often suggested as one of the reasons that Geisel’s writing was so well-received.[32][33]

Anapestic tetrameter consists of four rhythmic units, anapests, each composed of two weak beats followed by one strong beat; often, the first weak syllable is omitted, or an additional weak syllable is added at the end. An example of this meter can be found in Geisel’s “Yertle the Turtle”, from Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories:

“And today the Great Yertle, that Marvelous he
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.”[34]

Geisel generally maintained this rhythm quite strictly, but in his later career somewhat relaxed this tendency. The consistency of his meter was one of his hallmarks; the many imitators and parodists of Geisel are often unable to write in strict anapestic tetrameter, or are unaware that they should, and thus sound clumsy in comparison.

Some books by Geisel that are written mainly in anapestic tetrameter also contain many lines written in amphibrachic tetrameter, such as these from If I Ran the Circus:

“All ready to put up the tents for my circus.
I think I will call it the Circus McGurkus.
“And NOW comes an act of Enormous Enormance!
No former performers performed this performance!”

Geisel also wrote verse in trochaic tetrameter, an arrangement of a strong beat followed by a weak beat, with four units per line (for example, the title of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish). The formula for trochaic meter permits the final weak position in the line to be omitted, which facilitates the construction of rhymes.

Geisel generally maintained trochaic meter only for brief passages, and for longer stretches typically mixed it with iambic tetrameter, which consists of a weak beat followed by a strong, and is generally considered easier to write. Thus, for example, the magicians in Bartholomew and the Oobleck make their first appearance chanting in trochees (thus resembling the witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth):

Shuffle, duffle, muzzle, muff

then switch to iambs for the oobleck spell:

“Go make the Oobleck tumble down
On every street, in every town!”

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[[ps – please check out some of my other quote collections here – The Guy Quote]]

Dallas Clayton: writer, illustrator, generally awesome

I think I’ve seen some of Dallas Clayton’s books around and about, but I didn’t know about his AWESOME WEBSITE until I stumbled upon it here. If you have a spare minute or two, go check him out. He posts pictures, poems, musings, messages and more. Lovely job. Here are some things he has done (ps – where can I get a falconer’s glove?):

==

HOW TO MEET THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS (FOOLPROOF)

Buy a falconer’s glove.

Approach the girl you like wearing the falconers glove.

Ask her “Excuse me, have you seen a falcon fly by here?”

Look up to the sky, hopeful/sad.

If she says “No,” look distraught and ask her if she wouldn’t mind helping you look for your falcon.

No human being would ever turn down an opportunity like this.

Use the time you spend together searching for the falcon to get to know her.

At the end of your search (10 minutes) you will probably need consoling re: the loss of your one true friend.

By this point her interest in you based on the fact that you were able to put so much love and time into the raising of a falcon will more than ensure a second date, and from there it’s just a hop skip and a jump to marriage.

Good luck!

*NOTE: If by chance a falcon does appear out of nowhere, simply say ” (falcon’s name) I’ve missed you so much! Don’t ever scare me like that again!” Then offer to take the girl to dinner for helping you find your lost falcon. Bonus: You just got a free falcon!

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SPOT

At the dinner table
upon her going away to college
we discuss what dogs we would all be,
a common enough question
but not one you can answer on your own.
You cannot choose
because we cannot all be show dogs
purebreds
or winners of races.
But if we are lucky
honest
and spirited at all the right times
some can get named
half-golden retrievers
with big sloppy smiles
warm and perfect for cuddling.

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MUSEUM

Question:

How important is it,
On a scale of one to ten
for an adult human being to know what a stegosaurus is?

Answer: 4

Question:

How important is it
for an adult human being to not not know what a stegosaurus is?

Answer: 8.5

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GRIND

When you’re in the midst of a breakdown

remember that others with far more to lose

and much further to go

have been where you are

and emerged unscathed

by doing little more

than continuing forward

with their heads down

and their boots tightly laced.

==

THOUGHTS OF A PROPERTY MANAGER

Been washing the cement
on this same parking lot
every day for the past six years.

No one pays me.
Just like doing it.

It doesn’t get much cleaner
than it was the day before.

But the smell is nice

And I get to wave to people
on their way
to whatever jobs
they’ve been cut out to do.

Don’t know the name of the man who owns this parking lot
or where this hose is connected
but I like what I do.

And I don’t have to dress up for it.

The Jumblies

by Edward Lear, 1812-1888

I

THEY went to sea in a sieve, they did;
In a sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a sieve they went to sea.
And when the sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, “You’ll all be drowned!”
They called aloud, “Our sieve ain’t big;
But we don’t care a button, we don’t care a fig:
In a sieve we’ll go to sea!”
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

II

They sailed away in a sieve, they did,
In a sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a ribbon by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast.
And every one said who saw them go,
“Oh! won’t they soon be upset, you know?
For the sky is dark and the voyage is long,
And, happen what may, it’s extremely wrong
In a sieve to sail so fast.”
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

III

The water it soon came in, it did;
The water it soon came in:
So, to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat;
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar;
And each of them said, “How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
While round in our sieve we spin.”
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

IV

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
“O Timballoo! How happy we are
When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar!
And all night long, in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail
In the shade of the mountains brown.”
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

V

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,–
To a land all covered with trees;
And they bought an owl and a useful cart,
And a pound of rice, and a cranberry-tart,
And a hive of silvery bees;
And they bought a pig, and some green jackdaws,
And a lovely monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of ring-bo-ree,
And no end of Stilton cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

VI

And in twenty years they all came back,–
In twenty years or more;
And every one said, “How tall they’ve grown!
For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore.”
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, “If we only live,
We, too, will go to sea in a sieve,
To the hills of the Chankly Bore.”
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.