Whew! April is now behind me, as I joined many others in a month long blogging challenge. Having written everyday this past month, I am now wondering, Now What? But I also feel lightheaded enough to feel that it is time to laugh, to relax, .. and also, it is World Laughter Day on May 1st this year! It is also Mother Goose Day so why not try to rhyme to laugh?
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Poetic Sundays: Time to Laugh and Rhyme With Mother Goose
I read quite a few rhymes and poems, ranging from the funny to the hilarious (well, a few stoic and serious ones too), and enjoyed reading the twist on the classic Mother Goose rhymes in one of the most recently read and featured books (You Read to Me & I’ll Read to You series – link below for the Yeats).
And when I realized that May 1st is both Mother Goose Day and World Laughter Day, I realized that is the perfect thing for this Poetic Sunday.
Last year, I shared the Clerihew on World Laughter Day (first Sunday in May), so this year, instead of a specific form, I am sharing a couple of ideas on updating Mother Goose rhymes to make them funny(ier). Thanks to resources at Poetry4Kids as well as the book I mentioned above. Also, a few other updated poems and rhymes I have read over the years also spark additional ideas.
Note that the original rhymes are in blue and mine in purple in below examples
Mother Goose Rhymes and Others: Replace to Change
This idea is from Poetry4Kids
- Pick any nursery rhyme
- Find the rhyming words
- Replace them with other rhymes (or even not) to make them funnier.
My take on the Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout. / Down came the rain and washed the spider out. / Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, / and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.
In this poem, spout/out rhyme, as do rain/again. Replace these with some other rhyming word pairs, like wall/fall (borrowing from Humpty Dumpty) and whey/way (inspiration from Little Miss Muffet). While you could just replace the rhyming words and see what happens, you might need to replace more than the rhyming words to make sense (or nonsense, as your goal is)
The itsy bitsy spider went up the slimy wall. / It soon lost its grip which made it fall. / It had a soft landing on some delicious whey, / it had its fill and went up on its way
Not very funny, I admit but hopefully I can do better (and I am sure you will succeed!)
And then Mary and her lamb
Mary had a little lamb, / its fleece was white as snow, / and everywhere that Mary went, / the lamb was sure to go.
Mary had so much to do, / she was lost in lists. / She tried this and she tried that, / finally, shook her fists…
What about the snoring old man?
It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He bumped his head and went to bed
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.
He’s dancing, he’s prancing.
The peacock is romancing.
But poor guy, he doesn’t realize
That the peahens are out partying.
(I know! It is a oh-no… that’s bad poem.. but I might just be rhymed out here)
Like with this one (and depending on who is writing the rhymes, and who you are writing for, change the tone and content, of course).. Like this updated Raining, pouring rhyme is for spouses whose partner’s snores woke them up… so why not get online ??
It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He woke his wife with all that noise
And she went online for some shopping!
You could pick a theme, maybe, like space travel, and then redo a bunch of rhymes to fit that theme, where Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Simple Simon, Mary and her lamb, and many others are having out-of-the-world adventures!
Mother Goose Rhymes and Others: Add or Remove Words/Lines to Change
You can choose to modernize it and/or change it in other ways by adding and/or removing as well as replacing key words/phrases and even whole lines. So this is like using the rhyme as a template and building upon it to write your new rhyme.
Mary had a little lamb, / its fleece was white as snow,
Add some more lines in between these two pairs to make it a longer, more ridiculous poem maybe
She also had a tiny pup, / whose ears flopped so much / that whenever he took a step sideways / he tripped over a bunch / And there was pussycat / who loved to laze and preen / but seems that even she did once / make a trip to see the queen / All of these were Mary’s pets / they sure loved her, you know
and everywhere that Mary went, / they all were sure to go.…
Not funnier, I know, but…..
Mother Goose Rhymes and Others: Mix Them Up
If you have watched shows like Once Upon a Time on ABC, where characters from different fairy tales meet in new situations, and storylines take wild turns, you know what I am leading you towards!
Take a few different nursery rhymes/characters, use the rhyme structure to lend you a template and build your own story. Maybe Jack tumbles down into Humpty Dumpty on the wall causing Humpty Dumpty to fall, and maybe avoids breaking his (Jack’s, I mean) own crown. And maybe Humpty Dumpty falling down is what scares Miss Muffet, and not the spider for it was still climbing up and not falling down!
Or take them on a whole different spin and add Old Mother Goose to the story as well, for they are her characters after all 🙂
h/t and further reading for inspiration and ideas
- Kenn Nesbitt’s Poetry4Kids page for Writing Humorous Poems
- You Read to me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together
- The Best Humorous Poems of All Time
- Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster’s Mother Goose is adorable. I know I will get this soon as a gift for nieces and nephews who will definitely enjoy reading this one. Great for the Change-it-Replace idea.
- An Appalachian Mother Goose by James Still has me smiling still!! (not sorry for the pun, not one bit). Yet another one for the change it: replace idea as are the following two reads.
- Mixed-Up Mother Goose by Leonard P. Kessler and illustrated by Diane Dawson Hearn is fun to read and perfect for inspiration for the Mix-them-up idea.
- Another one for the mix them up idea is Bruce Lansky’s The New Adventures of Mother Goose: Gentle Rhymes for Happy Times
- I also discovered, read, and enjoyed a few other similar mixed-up and/or inspired by Mother Goose books that I have included below
Note: You can also choose read many of the above featured books on the Internet Archive (borrow from it like from a digital library, so you will need to create an account there)
At Home and On My Blog
At home, it has been more of the same and on my blog, along with so many others, completed the April month long blogging challenge (the UBC, NaPoWriMo, AtoZ Challenges)! These are the most recent ones, from last week.
- Sunday Scribblings #105: The Amazing Meeting of Poetry and Dance
- UnBeelievables are Unsettled in the Ukiah Poem
- The Varselle & Also Powerful Voices and Delightful Dances
- Wordflair or a Flair for Wonderful Words with Wings
- A Xiaoshi for Xander’s eXcellent Panda Party
- The Yeats That I Love That You Read to Me
- Zip and Zin to the Zenith!
On My Blog & Homefront
On the homefront, it is as usual. And on my blog, while I might not blog everyday this week, I will do a wrap up post for the April challenges, and also work on visiting others as well as responding to comments on my blog.
This Week’s Celebrations
Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)
- Literary birthdays this week of May include: Jerome K Jerome on the 2nd; Niccolò Machiavelli on the 3rd; Robin Cook and Graham Swift on the 4th; Scott Westerfeld on the 5th; Orson Welles on the 6th; Angela Carter, Robert Browning, Peter Carey, Deborah Wiles, and Rabindranath Tagore on the 7th; Edward Gibbon on the 8th
- May 5th is National Cartoonists Day
- World Press Freedom Day is on the 3rd
- May 4th is International Firefighters’ Day
- The first Saturday in May celebrates Free Comic Book Day and National Scrapbook Day
- May is Better Speech and Language Month and National Get Caught Reading Month
- May 2nd is National Truffle Day
- National Chocolate Custard Day and National Raspberry Popover Day are on May 3rd
- May 4th is National Candied Orange Peel Day and National Orange Juice Day
- National Totally Chipotle Day is on Cinco de Mayo
- May 6th is National Beverage Day and National Crepe Suzette Day as well as International No Diet Day
- May 7th, which is the first Saturday in May, is National Homebrew Day
- National Coconut Cream Pie Day and National Have a Coke Day are on May 8th
- May 3rd is National Two Different Colored Shoes Day and National Teacher Appreciation Day
- Bird Day is on the 4th, and since it is May the 4th, is also National Star Wars Day
- May 5th is National Astronaut Day and African World Heritage Day
- The 8th of May is World Red Cross Day
- Mother’s Day – Second Sunday in May
Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?