party down, mr. romond!

 

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.”

First he told us what English teachers dream about, and then he brought us donuts. Today, Pennsylvania based poet Edwin Romond throws a literary party. What a guy. 🙂

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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.”

~ from Dream Teaching: Poems by Edwin Romond (Grayson Books, 2004)

 

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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. 🙂

 

Definitely not:

Uriah Heep (David Copperfield)

Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series)

Veruca Salt (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca)

Iago (Othello)

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?

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🎃 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. 🙂

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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!!

 

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Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

46 thoughts on “party down, mr. romond!

  1. “unpage from the bindings” Ha! I could use a stroll through my bookshelves. I’ll stroll through them at school too. What a fun poem to set one to day dreaming. Thanks, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant post, Jama! I’ll have to think a bit about characters I’d like (or wouldn’t like) to meet. Hmmm. Maybe Ratty and Mole (of Wind in the Willows) for the Would-Likes, and Carver Doone (of Lorna Doone) for the Not-So-Much? And that poem by Edwin Romond – well, you know me, I love a little poetic goofiness. Thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. …and, of course, Jama, Ratty and Mole would let us spend time messing about in boats (because there’s nothing half so much worth doing)!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, my dear Stella (! — I think I might be Claire), you’ve me thinking!I totally want to see Laura Ingalls meet Ramona Quimby. I’ll have to get back to you on the guest list, and the definitely nots. As an introvert, guest lists always require careful consideration. 🙂 Thanks for the poem, too, and the good cheer, as ever. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice of you to visit, Claire. I totally understand about introverts making guest lists — they’re practically mutually exclusive :D.
      Love, Stella

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  4. Love this poem! So inventive and clever. The characters you chose seem like top-notch guests to me. I would get a kick out of Lucy from Narnia, Pippi, the Fantastic Mr. Fox, Dorothea from Middlemarch, and Mr. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great choices, Tabatha! I do like Lucy too, which reminds me, I’d also like to spend a little time with Sunny from the Lemony Snicket books (need to examine her teeth/jaws). 😀

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  5. I love this, Jama, used to have students write who they might invite to their Thanksgiving tables, so now you’ve got me thinking about my own preferences. I would also love to meet Frodo and Samwise, perhaps all those from LOTR, but might sometimes invite Cather’s Antonia just to meet her. I found an article about Romond & his book ‘Dream Teaching’, sounds like a lovely book for teachers. Thanks for the awesome “Partying”!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, this is fun! I would like to meet Harry, Ron, and Hermione (and then have dinner with the Weasleys); Gen from The Thief and sequels; Tiffany Aching and Granny Weatherwax of Discworld fame; Frog and Toad; Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle; and from picture books, why not, that old couple from Millions of Cats with their new kitten. I would NOT want to meet Dolores Umbridge, the witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or the murderer from The Graveyard Book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, quite a list, Kate! I think I’d like to have dinner with the Weasleys too. Have not read any Discworld books. The old couple from Millions of Cats is a very interesting choice, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle sounds fun.

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    1. I’ve often wondered how the authors of our favorite books would measure up. We love their stories and characters, but what would they be like in real life? I think the same about favorite musicians too, especially the ones I’ve idolized a long time (Dylan and McCartney).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jama, I picked the Hester Prynne lines as my favorite also. It’s such a clever moment, but also gives her new and happy purpose!

    Hmm. Hard to choose who I’d like to meet. Perhaps Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol, Jo March, and how about Corduroy and Mrs. Tiggywinkle?

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    1. Hooray for Hester! There’s more to her than meets the eye. I like that you mentioned Corduroy and Mrs. Tiggywinkle (both residents here) — I can vouch for them — good company. I imagine conversations with Jo March would be very stimulating.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem that made me laugh out loud (the Hester Prynne line, of course!) Who would I invite? I will have to give this some thought. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy imagining your guests enjoying tea and biscuits!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I want to join this party! What a fun post and brilliant poem. It reminds me of Jasper FFordes series with Thursday Next. Have you read any of these? Thursday is a Literary Detective who must keep all those characters in books corralled within their pages. Much mischief ensues.

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  10. O.M.G. This post is hilarious, Jama! The poem, of course (we share a couple of my fave lines—especially Hester, and I loved that ending, too, with Emily and Hamlet), but you already had me at your intro with the mint juleps and “Stella!” I have no idea which characters I would invite to a literary party, because right now all I can think of is the John Irving book I’m reading, and I think I might be wary to meet any of those folks—especially in a group setting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like Hester has won us all over with her grade book shenanigans. Haven’t read Irving in a long time. I think the last book I read was The World According to Garp. Lots of catching up to do!

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  11. Hey, Just catching up after fall projects over the holiday and really enjoyed the poem. I think I might invite some nonhuman guests like Eric Rohmann’s cinder-eyed cats.

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  12. This is a marvelous poem–clever and funny and a trip down memory lane. Who would I like to meet? I used to fantasize about meeting Robin Hood and his merry men–and maybe Winnie the Pooh and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Titania. It’s fun to think about.

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