Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Our Favorite Anti-TV Poem

From the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
-
The most important thing we’ve learned,
As far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER let
Them near your television set-
Or, better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until there hypnotized by it,
Until there absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes we know it keeps them still
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink-
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HE CANNOT THINK-HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY . . . USED . . . TO . . . READ! They’d
READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens and whales
And treasure isles and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled ores,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and -
Just How the Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole -
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start - oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
-
**Tom did most of the typing of this post, but we were accidentally signed in under my name. She plans to print this out, frame it and hang it in her room. (That is, if she can find any room amist all of her BOOKS!)

2 comments:

blestwithsons said...

Thank you thank you thank you! It has been a hard day with this anti-tv stuff and I needed this smile!!!

I'll probably link to it in a few days...

Kaleesha said...

That's one of my faves, too! Says it all. Very bold of him, I thought. :)
We were recently on a Roald Dahl kick, reading everything of his we could find. However, I put down "Danny the Champion of the World" soon after starting it as it seemed to glorify illegal activity (I finished reading it, but not to the kids, to see if it would turn around but it didn't.) A shame. But he sure is a fun author. We even got his Revolting Recipies from the library and had a lot of fun with that. Hot Frogs were our favorite, but the Wormy Spaghetti was pretty good.