Unfortunately, I wasn’t crazy about the book. I’m not a big fan of nonsense poetry. I like the Shel Silverstein books as an exception, but I didn’t like his oldest (but now newest) book, Don’t Bump the Glump! for the same reason. It’s just wacky.
There’s an improv concept that everyone wants the sketch of the chicken in the bowling alley, but it’s actually harder to come up with something clever for the man in the office. The crazy jutxaposition of the elements is the joke, rather than the artist improv or poet adding insight and humor to the situation. So is the poem then funny or clever on its own merit, or is it more about thinking of the original oddity?
In this book, there aren’t enough of the more “normal” poems in the collection to keep it from going over the top. And when there is a nice, almost moving poem about having a place to go to inside yourself, it’s followed by “Burt the Burper,” which ruins the mood. But that’s probably the point. The only poem I really liked is the title poem. It’s more about an everyday thing. It also hits on an personal note, since I can’t understand anything that people spell.
My dog may be a genius,I know lots of people will like this book for its absurdity, and that’s okay. I just wish Prelutsky had taken the opportunity of his title and his talent to mix in a few more subtle poems and introduce children to a greater range of expression.
and in fact, there’s little doubt.
He recognizes many words,
unless I spell them out.
If I so much as whisper “walk,”
he hurries off at once
to fetch his leash... it’s evident
my dog is not a dunce.
I can’t say “food” in front of him,
I spell f-o-o-d,
and he goes wild unless I spell
But recently this tactic
isn’t working out too well.
I think my d-o-g has learned
The Poetry Friday round-up is over at Two Writing Teachers.