Hello readers! We at GatheringBooks are proud to once again host today’s Poetry Friday!! This Poetry Friday, in particular, is special for a few reasons: 1) we are doing a double feature on Mark Svendsen and Tim Burton; 2) the poems featured today coincide with our bimonthly theme; and 3) it’s Myra’s birthday!! YayYuhhhh!! If you have poems to share, visit Myra’s ‘versified’ round-up post to share your awesome links. Happy Poetry Friday everyone!!
Mark Svendsen’s Circus Carnivore, as illustrated by Ben Redlich, was among the books I found while browsing through circus-themed picture books for our Circus, Carnivale, and Paranormal Twists. Circus Carnivore is fun, wacky, and wild – if you would even allow such words to describe a picture-book-in-verse! Mark Svendsen took liberty in creating a bunch of “noise-some” words that readers will find in the book. Ben Redlich has illustrated more than 20 picture books for children, and his illustrations in the book remind me of the art of Shaun Tan and Tim Burton, as well as the artwork found in a children’s graphic novel called The Return of the Dapper Men.
Circus Carnivore tells the story of a little girl named Kate who throws fits when she doesn’t get her way. She yells and screams, and spurts out a variety of “noise-some” words. Kate, however, claims that these noise-some words actually come from the “noise-a-matron”…
by Mark Svendsen, illustrated by Ben Redlich
They think when I spurtle noise-some words
That I thought, then chose to say them;
But my words all come from my noise-a-matron—
Say hello to the people who make them.
Noolman there works the liffin bools,
For screeching out my groigles.
While Tubswort toils on the doo-dad machine,
That stamps my niggly foibles.
Toodle-Um and Niddy-no-not
Both hurl my un-thunk oigles.
And not forgetting our Icabod,
Who turns the winsome toodle-sod
That makes my noise-some noises.
You want to know where they live, these sods?
They live beside my temper grods,
inside my think-some noodle.
And they make whatever noise they choose
To show the world I’ve got the blues,
whenever I won’t be goodle!
Unfortunately for Kate, her parents (referred to in the book as the Dullundrears) have had enough of her being “roodle,” so they “packed her up” and “threw her away.” Icabod and his gang were sad but they had an idea…
Then Icabod, that quietish dear,
He clears his throat and sproigles,
The circus, you know,
I’ve always loved
To do it me heart has ever rubbed
With tricks and stunts TA-DAS! TA-DUMS!
And the crowd all shhhhhhhhhhhhh
And so the noise-a-matron crew decided that they needed to change their names and ways. And while they would still make noise-some noises, they didn’t want to be roodles, so they came up with the Circus Carnivore!
O tiddle me wink!
O chuckle guffaw!
O winslowing whoopie!
O gigglish more!
You may think when I spurtle JOY-SOME words
That I laughed, then chose to say them;
But my words are made in the
Where they teeter and trip
and acts up more,
With tricks and stunts
and laughs galore—
say hello to the people who’ve made them!
Our next featured poem is written by visionary director Tim Burton. Tim Burton’s Vincent was made into a short film. It was Tim Burton’s first stop-motion black-and-white animated film, dedicated to and narrated by his ‘hero’ Vincent Price himself. If you haven’t read this poem yet, then you’re in for a treat. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy the video that goes with it.
by Tim Burton
Vincent Malloy is seven years old,
He’s always polite and does what he’s told.
For a boy his age he’s considerate and nice,
But he wants to be just like Vincent Price.
He doesn’t mind living with his sister, dogs and cats,
Though he’d rather share a home with spiders and bats.
There he could reflect on the horrors he’s invented,
And wander dark hallways alone and tormented.
Vincent is nice when his aunt comes to see him,
But imagines dipping her in wax for his wax museum.
He likes to experiment on his dog Abercrombie,
In the hopes of creating a horrible zombie.
So he and his horrible zombie dog,
Could go searching for victims in the London fog.
His thoughts aren’t only of ghoulish crime,
He likes to paint and read to pass the time.
While other kids read books like Go Jane Go,
Vincent’s favorite author is Edgar Allan Poe.
Such horrible news he could not survive,
For his beautiful wife had been buried alive.
He dug out her grave to make sure she was dead,
Unaware that her grave was his mother’s flower bed.
His mother sent Vincent off to his room,
He knew he’d been banished to the tower of doom.
Where he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life,
Alone with a portrait of his beautiful wife.
While alone and insane, encased in his tomb,
Vincent’s mother suddenly burst into the room.
She said: “If you want to you can go outside and play.
It’s sunny outside and a beautiful day.”
Vincent tried to talk, but he just couldn’t speak,
The years of isolation had made him quite weak.
So he took out some paper, and scrawled with a pen:
“I am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again.”
His mother said: “You’re not possessed, and you’re not almost dead.
These games that you play are all in your head.
You’re not Vincent Price, you’re Vincent Malloy.
You’re not tormented or insane, you’re just a young boy.”
“You’re seven years old, and you’re my son,
I want you to get outside and have some real fun.”
Her anger now spent, she walked out through the hall,
While Vincent backed slowly against the wall.
The room started to sway, to shiver and creak.
His horrid insanity had reached its peak.
Every horror in his life that had crept through his dreams,
Swept his mad laugh to terrified screams.
To escape the madness, he reached for the door,
But fell limp and lifeless down on the floor.
His voice was soft and very slow,
As he quoted The Raven from Edgar Allan Poe,
“and my soul from out that shadow
that lies floating on the floor,
shall be lifted?