National Poetry Month: April 13th

Don’t Cry, Darling, It’s Blood All Right by Ogden Nash

Whenever poets want to give you the idea that something is particularly meek and mild,
They compare it to a child,
Thereby proving that though poets with poetry may be rife
They don’t know the facts of life.
If of compassion you desire either a tittle or a jot,
Don’t try to get it from a tot.
Hard-boiled, sophisticated adults like me and you
May enjoy ourselves thoroughly with Little Women and Winnie-the-Pooh,
But innocent infants these titles from their reading course eliminate
As soon as they discover that it was honey and nuts and mashed potatoes instead of human
flesh that Winnie-the-Pooh and Little Women ate.
Innocent infants have no use for fables about rabbits or donkeys or tortoises or porpoises,
What they want is something with plenty of well-mutilated corpoises.
Not on legends of how the rose came to be a rose instead of a petunia is their fancy fed,
But on the inside story of how somebody’s bones got ground up to make somebody else’s bread.
They go to sleep listening to the story of the little beggarmaid who got to be queen by
being kind to the bees and the birds,
But they’re all eyes and ears the minute they suspect a wolf or a giant is going to tear
some poor woodcutter into quarters and thirds.
It really doesn’t take much to fill their cup;
All they want is for somebody to be eaten up.
Therefore I say unto you, all you poets who are so crazy about meek and mild little
children and their angelic air,
If you are sincere and really want to please them, why just go out and get yourselves
devoured by a bear.

parents keep out
Original illustration from “Parents Keep Out: Elderly Poems for Youngerly Readers” by Ogden Nash and Barbara Corrigan (1951)

This poem was selected by Betsy B. (Collection Development Manager)

Poetry Copyright Notice

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