through writing was called a new-age Mother Goose.
He studied at Dartmouth, gave comic relief
to Dartmouthians reading the editor chief
from the Jack-O-Lantern zine, but he was forced to give in
when he and the boys were caught drinking gin.
He would’ve, could’ve gotten the P, H, and D
But he dropped out of Oxford, forgot the degree
and focused on drawing by wife Helen’s decree.
His father directed beer brews and park zoos,
and sent Ted big horns and big shells he would use
to sculpt and assemble part X to part T
and create grinning beasts for his menagerie.
What with Andulovian Gracklers and a Two Horned Drouberhannis
He had the most unorthodox, taxidermed pets on the planet!
He reached fame through his ad for insecticides:
“Quick, Henry, the Flit!”
was the “Got Milk?” of its day.
Did you recognize it?
When World War II came his cartoons boldly berated
All the thumb-twiddlers and hair-splitters who wished to stay isolated.
He made war training films, such as Private Snafu,
with Frank Capra, the Army, and Warner Bros. too.
Now I didn’t know that about Seuss, did you?
Seuss kicked the drab Dicks and well-behaved Janes,
gave children mischief and characters, disdain.
With a fascist turtle and present-stealing recluse,
there’d be no more heavy-handed moral abuse.
There’d be only Sneetches and Thidwick the Moose!
The world could be sillier than Slick, Silly Sammy.
Reading was fun! And literacy, happy!
Every kid behind a rain-flecked window pane
has a Cat in a Hat in the back of the brain,
and at the back of that brain is the Cat in the Hat
Whispering whispers, “Topple this. Topple that.”
And who hasn’t feasted on Whoville roast beasted?
Or asked for seconds of green eggs and ham?
The green eggs are better. I can taste it! I can!
Lessons yearned to be learned when Seuss was the teacher
because foremost and first were the stories, the creatures.
The world just might find peaceful renown
if all people read about the Zooks and the Yooks,
with their butter-sides up and butter-sides down.
The droopy Seuss world, without a single straight line
is so vivid, so Seussian in ideal and design.
But we fail when calling Ted Geisel to mind.
In our memory the man is a rhythm, a rhyme.
But for an artist, a dreamer, what better way
to go on life living than through the words people say?
So when your Grox is a boxing or you spot an orange-wearing Zook,
Think of Ted Geisel, and pick up a book.
And forgive the off-rhythm of this poor counterfeit.
I’m bufoozling and flamfloozaling but just mean to say,
that when Seuss sketched the world, he forever changed it
with such enormous enormity, in his own Geisel way.
Kristen Bialik is a writer, teacher and graduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication. In her spare time, she's a baker of pies and maker of stories.