Saturday, 2 June 2007


My daughter, Sweetpea, has emailed me and asked if she could contribute to my Poetry Fest, of course, I said yes. She then went on to tell me off as I had already posted her favourite poem The Jumblies by Edward Lear. These are her childhood favourites that she emailed me.

I can remember her reading and reciting this poem over and over again.

Please Mrs Butler


Alan Ahlberg

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?
Go and sit in the hall, dear.
Go and sit in the sink.
Take your books on the roof, my lamb.
Do whatever you think.

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps taking my rubber, Miss.
What shall I do?
Keep it in your hand, dear.
Hide it up your vest.
Swallow it if you like, love.
Do what you think best.

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps calling me rude names,
Miss.What shall I do?
Lock yourself in the cupboard, dear.
Run away to sea.
Do whatever you can, my flower.
But don't ask me!


Sweetpea says she adored this one, that really turns the table on the Little Red Riding Hood Story, obviously her favourite line was and whipped a pistol from her knickers. The idea of the word knickers and whipping out a pistol from them being part of the poem delighted her

Little Red RidingHood and the Wolf
from Revolting Rhymes
Roald Dahl

As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, "May I come in?
"Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
"He's going to eat me up!" she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, "That's not enough!
I haven't yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!"
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
"I've got to have a second helping!"
Then added with a frightful leer,
"I'm therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.
"He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,
(Of course he hadn't eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that,

He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.
In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared.
And then she said,
"What great big ears you have, Grandma."
"All the better to hear you with,"the Wolf replied
"What great big eyes you have,
Grandma."said Little Red Riding Hood
"All the better to see you with,"the Wolf replied.
He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma,
She's going to taste like caviar.
Then Little Red Riding Hood said,
"But Grandma, what a lovely great big furry coat you have on."
"That's wrong!" cried Wolf."Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I'm going to eat you anyway."
The small girl smiles.
One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head,
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change!
No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, "Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat."


Sweetpea's, favourite cake flavour, so you can imagine why she loved this poem

Chocolate Cake
Michael Rosen

I love chocolate cake.
And when I was a boy
I loved it even more.
Sometimes we used to have it for tea
and Mum used to say,
'If there's any left overyou can have it to take to school
tomorrow to have at playtime.'
And the next day I would take it to school
wrapped up in tin foil
open it up at playtimeand sit in the corner of the playground
eating it,you know how the icing on top
is all shiny and it cracks as you bite into it,
and there's that other kind of icing inthe middle
and it sticks to your hands and you
can lick your fingers
and lick your lips
oh it's lovely.yeah.
Anyway,once we had this chocolate cake for tea
and later I went to bed
but while I was in bed
I found myself waking up
licking my lips
and smiling.
I woke up proper.
'The chocolate cake.'It was the first thing
I thought of.
I could almost see it
so I thought,what if I go downstairs
and have a little nibble, yeah?
It was all dark
everyone was in bed
so it must have been really late
but I got out of bed,crept out of the door
there's always a creaky floorboard, isn't there?
Past Mum and Dad's room,
careful not to tread on bits of broken toys
or bits of Lego
you know what it's like treading on Lego
with your bare feet,
into the kitchen
open the cupboardand there it is
all shining.
So I take it out of the cupboard
put it on the table
and I see that
there's a few crumbs lying about on the plate,
so I lick my finger and run my finger all over the crumbs
scooping them up
and put them into my mouth.
I look again
and on one side where it's been cut,
it's all crumbly.
So I take a knifeI think I'll just tidy that up a bit,
cut off the crumbly bits
scoop them all up
and into the mouth
oooooommm mmmmnice.
Look at the cake again.
That looks a bit funny now,
one side doesn't match the other
I'll just even it up a bit, eh?
Take the knife
and slice.
This time the knife makes a little cracky noise
as it goes through that hard icing on top.
A whole slice this time,into the mouth.
Oh the icing on top
and the icing in the middleohhhhhh oooo mmmmmm.
But now
I can't stop myself

Knife -I just take any old slice at it
and I've got this great big chunk
and I'm cramming it in
what a greedy pig
but it's so nice,
and there's another
and another and I'm squealing and I'm smacking my lips
and I'm stuffing myself with it
before I know
I've eaten the lot.
The whole lot.
I look at the plate.
It's all gone.
Oh no
they're bound to notice, aren't they,
a whole chocolate cake doesn't just disappear
does it?
What shall I do?
I know. I'll wash the plate up,
and the knife
and put them away and maybe no one
will notice, eh?
to bedinto bed
doze off
licking my lips
with a lovely feeling in my belly.
In the morning I get up,downstairs,
have breakfast,
Mum's saying,
'Have you got your dinner money?
'and I say,'Yes.'
'And don't forget to take some chocolate cake with you.'
'I stopped breathing'.
'What's the matter,' she says,
'you normally jump at chocolate cake?
'I'm still not breathing,
and she's looking at me very closely now.
She's looking at me just below my mouth.
'What's that?' she says.
'What's what?' I say.
'What's that there?'
'There,' she says, pointing at my chin.
'I don't know,' I say.
'It looks like chocolate,' she says.
'It's not chocolate is it?
'No answer.'
Is it?''
'I don't know.'
She goes to the cupboard
looks in, up, top, middle, bottom,
turns back to me.
'It's gone.
It's gone.
You haven't eaten it, have you?'
'I don't know.'
'You don't know. You don't know if you've eaten a whole
chocolate cake or not?
When? When did you eat it?'
So I told her,
and she said
well what could she say?
'That's the last time I give you any cake to take
to school.
Now go. Get out
no wait
not before you've washed your dirty sticky face.
'I went upstairs
looked in the mirror
and there it was,just below my mouth,
a chocolate smudge.
The give-away.
Maybe she'll forget about it by next week.

This poem really appealed to Sweetpea, as everyone knows the poor supply teacher is usually told a lot of nonsense by the kids. She and her friend Jemma were experts at it.

The Supply Teacher
Alan Ahlberg

Here's the rule for what to do
If ever your teacher has the flu
Or for some other reason takes to her bed
And a different teacher comes instead
When the visiting teacher hangs up her hat
Writes the date on the board, does this or that
Always remember, you have to say this,
OUR teacher never does that, Miss!
When you want to change places or wander about
Or feel like getting the guinea pig out
Never forget, the message is this,
OUR teacher always lets us, Miss!
Then, when your teacher returns next day
And complains about the paint or clay
Remember these words, you just say this:
That OTHER teacher told us to, Miss!


Julie Marie said...

This poetry fest is so enlightening to me - not only regarding poems that I have never read (I loved Little Red Riding Hood whipping a pistol from her knickers and shooting the wolf), but also learning words and phrases of (British) English usage. For example, we would call your supply teacher a substitute teacher. And rubbers certainly have a much more innocent meaning to you than to us. We call them erasers. Rubbers can mean either footwear against the rain or - ahem - prophylactics. And my daughter, when she was small, called erasers "unrasers", which I thought made a lot of sense, because they undid what you had written. Finally we don't call them knickers, but we DO know what you mean when you say the word!

Sheila said...

I love the Red Riding Hood poem, and had forgotten all about it. My grand daughter would love it, I must find a book containing this..!
Thanks Sweet Pea..!