Saturday, 20 June 2015

Custard and Company

poems by Ogden Nash, selected and illustrated by Quentin Blake

I bought this book (1st edition, 1979) in Oxfam some years ago. It became one of Yuri’s favourite poetry books, his #1 poem being Can I get you a glass of water? Or, Please close the glottis after you. A couple of days ago, I took it from a shelf to look up a poem suitable for young learners of English as a second language. Well, I didn’t find any. Even the shortest of them are too complex for the level I was dealing with. I am sure they can be very rewarding for more advanced learners though. I can totally imagine a great lesson built around, say, To a Small Boy Standing on My Shoes While I am Wearing Them, or Don’t Cry, Darling, It’s Blood All Right. If I ever get a chance to teach it, that is.

Nah, forget the teaching. These are wonderful poems (84 in total). No matter how many times I read them, they make me smile.

Today, I find this one particularly mine.

Between Birthdays

My birthdays take so long to start.
They come along a year apart.
It’s worse than waiting for a bus;
I fear I used to fret and fuss,
But now, when by impatience vexed
Between one birthday and the next,
I think of all that I have seen
That keeps on happening in between.
The songs I’ve heard, the things I’ve done,
Make my unbirthdays no so un-

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