The best things happen at night while we’re asleep. Toys come alive and book characters escape from their pages so they can party. I know this definitely happens at our house because most mornings I smell mint juleps and have this strange compulsion to change my name to “Stella.”
AT NIGHT THE CHARACTERS ON MY CLASSROOM SHELVES COME OUT TO PARTY
by Edwin Romond
Captain Ahab peers in his telescope and yells, “All clear!”
and the rest unpage from the bindings of shelf life.
Gatsby’s first in his golden Rolls, screeching around,
nearly hitting Laura Wingfield, who’s with Stanley Kowalski,
her latest hope from the Literary Computer Dating Service.
And there’s Macbeth lecherously proclaiming, “Tonight
and tonight and tonight!” as he watusis with the witches,
which irritates Jonathan Edwards who’s mingling
and telling everyone to go to hell. The Duke and the King
try to sell Mississippi time shares to Hester, but she’s busy
with my grade book changing all the marks to “A’s.”
And there’s Old Rip scribbling on my desks, “This class
puts me to sleep,” but Blanche DuBois is really in trouble
depending on the kindness of strange Edgar Allan Poe
who’s moaning how lovely she’d look in a casket.
Then “Better Late Than Never” Reverend Dimmesdale
preaches from Planned Parenthood Journal to Oscar Wilde,
who is not interested. The party’s getting hot now
which makes Lady Macbeth tell the fur-coated Jack London,
“Off, off, damned coat!” just as the cast of “The Lottery”
arrives to suggest that everyone get stoned. They all go wild
till poet Emily, who never left the shelf to begin with,
peeks out to whisper, “Homeroom!” and they all scurry back
like illegal aliens. But poor Hamlet can’t find Hamlet
so he jumps into “The Lady or the Tiger?” where he stares
at both doors before turning to the crowd to warn,
“You’d better get comfortable. This might take a while.”
So. much. fun.
I love a poet with a razor sharp wit, generously serving up literary allusions. Reading this poem was like reliving all my high school English classes. Each time I reread it, I see something new, appreciating Romond’s more subtle references.
I especially love Hester Prynne changing all the marks in the grade book to “A’s” (naturally she used a red pen). Best use of alliteration: Macbeth “watusis with the witches.” And how about those lottery people getting stoned? Brilliant!
This is the kind of poem that makes you look closer at your own bookshelves — at home or in the classroom — trying to imagine how characters from different stories might get along. Do you think Jo March, Anne Shirley, and Jane Eyre would join the #metoo movement? What about Madeline and Eloise having a sleepover? And what would happen if Laura Ingalls met Ramona Quimby?
I would like to meet:
Cousin Sook (A Christmas Memory)
Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables)
Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)
Mr. Tumnus (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Uncle Albert (Mary Poppins)
Paddington Bear . . . goes without saying. 🙂
Uriah Heep (David Copperfield)
Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series)
Veruca Salt (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca)
Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
Annie Wilkes (Misery)
For refreshments, of course we would have fruitcake, blackberry tarts, pork pies, marmalade sandwiches, raspberry cordial and tea.
If you threw your own literary party, which characters would you invite and why?
🎃 PICK A PUMPKIN GIVEAWAY WINNER! 🎃
Thanks to all for commenting last week. Was nice to read your thoughts about Fall, the best season. 🙂
We are pleased to announce that the lucky person who’ll be receiving a copy of this faboo picture book is:
🎉 DEB CHRISTENSEN!! 🎈
WOOHOO! BIG CONGRATS, DEB!
It’s wonderful that Deb won the book, because in her comment she mentioned missing the Fall leaves and cold crisp air in Hawai’i. Now she can enjoy a little Autumn fun thanks to Patty and Jarvis. 🙂
The beautiful and talented Catherine Flynn is hosting the Roundup at Reading to the Core. Tap dance on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the bloggy world this week. Have a good Columbus Day weekend!!
Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.