I really enjoy reading nursery rhymes. I have memorized quite a few of them from Mother Goose. Mother Goose is the source for many of todays childrens picture books. I have fond memories of it from when I was a child. I also love Beatrix Potter, especially the Tales of Benjamin Bunny and Jemima Puddleduck.
I took some time to write some poems that are variations of nursery rhymes and odes to fairytales.
Hey fiddle, fiddle, the cat's in the middle,
The dog jumped over the moon,
The little cow laughed to see such sport,
As the dish rapped a tune with the spoon.
Jill be thimbled
Jill be quickened
Jill jumped onto the candlestick
Hat and feather
Collars and lace
Boots of velvet
What a fine cat you are
Sleight of Hand
Fleet of Foot
A master trickster
These, I wrote on the train coming to work this morning.
Earlier, I had written another poem at the Poetry In The Branches Workshop
If I had boots like these,
I'd dance across the oceans,
And climb the highest mountains,
I'd jump and hang from the moon,
Then walk across the starry sky,
The sun would be a single step,
The moon a soft shuffle,
And the farthest stars a mile.
I think nursery rhymes for todays children are too sanitized. Removing the scary or naughty parts makes them less real. It also changes the effect on children. Disney often to me is more scary with its sanitized fairytales than the original versions.
There are two major collectors of fairytales which we think of the west, Charles Perrault who was French, and The Brothers Grimm who was German. Luckily, these are no longer under copywrite and can be used for almost any purpose. I think of them as a repository and excellent source for fantasy writing.
The other place we often draw our stories from is Aesop who is attributed with Aesop's fables. The original unexpurgated version is far better than the clean children's version. Aesop himself is very interesting. He was a slave who was supposed to be very ugly.
I am not sure what else to say at this point. Oh yes, I also wrote two approximation of koans in the Poetry At The Branches workshop. Here they are:
Is the glove on the hand, or the hand in the glove?
Does the scarf blow in the wind, or the wind blow the scarf?
I am often ambivalent about poetry. I know I can write it, but I am not sure that I want to be known in any way as being a poet. There are interesting connotations that go with being a poet.
I have a few favorite poets. I have always liked Shel Silverstein's childrens poetry-- Where the Sidewalk Ends is a truly excellent book.
I also like Charles Bukowski who is a story unto himself with his raunchy, drunken, often whimsical self reflecting poetry. It is not for children.
When I was younger, I used to collect poetry books when I was in college renting a room. Then I had something traumatic happen. The old lady who was the landlady downstairs passed out on her bed with a bottle of gin and some cigarettes. The apartment burned down. With it went the poetry collection. I still read poetry books sometimes.
The net is a truly excellent medium for poetry. There are a lot of blogs with poetry in them. Because it is easy to screen blogs, you can quickly find blogs with quite a few good poems in them.
My favorite blog with poems so far is this one:
I decided to change my heading picture for Book Calendar. I found a picture from a public domain photo archive. I think it is a little better looking than the original lectern image.
Also, I updated my fuelmyblog.com image, so it would include my "friends" log.
Every day, I try to improve my blog a bit. It is slow improvement that makes things better.