Friday, June 8, 2007

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is well-known for his beloved children's books (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, etc.), but he also wrote poetry. I like this description from The Poetry Archive of the spot where Mr. Dahl did his writing:

Roald did all his writing in a little hut at the bottom of his garden. It was rather shabby, with an old armchair and photos stuck to the walls, but he liked the peace and retreated there for four hours every day. Roald used a particular brand of pencil and wrote on special yellow (his favourite colour) paper which he ordered from America. He carried on writing right up until he died in 1990 and you can still see the last notes he made in his wastepaper basket if you visit his hut which is now part of the Roald Dahl Museum.

The following poem is one that was never published. Mr. Dahl sent it the year before his death to a a class of students in England in response to their letters.

"My teacher wasn't half as nice as yours seems to be.
His name was Mister Unsworth and he taught us history.
And when you didn't know a date he'd get you by the ear
And start to twist while you sat there quite paralysed with fear.
He'd twist and twist and twist your ear and twist it more and more.
Until at last the ear came off and landed on the floor.
Our class was full of one-eared boys. I'm certain there were eight.
Who'd had them twisted off because they didn't know a date.
So let us now praise teachers who today are all so fine
And yours in particular is totally divine."

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