Toronto Mike

Oblivious to the Snickers


I just read that Dennis Lee is a finalist for this year's Trillium Book Award, Ontario's premier literary prize.  Whenever I think of Dennis Lee, I think about the annual poem recital we had through grade three.  Dennis Lee's "Alligator Pie" and "Garbage Delight" were ripe full of fun poems to memorize.

In grade two, I memorized and recited "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear.  I remember doing quite well and making it to the finals where we'd recite the poem in front of the entire school and parents and others.  I just Googled the poem and read it for the first time in over 20 years, and damn is it unintentionally funny.  If I were watching a kid recite this poem today, I'd be snickering my smart-ass face off.

O lovely Pussy!

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
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