Friday, April 25, 2014

A Pond Full of Ink by Annie M.G. Schmidt

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit the ever-inspiring and inspiredTabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for Roundup. Annndddd... our Progressive is winding down! Visit Marvelous Michelle for the latest at Today's Little Ditty.

I've just been reading A POND FULL OF INK by Annie M.G. Schmidt, illus. by Sieb Posthuma, translated by David Colmer. These poems are very much reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's longer poems, like "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Wouldn't Take the Garbage Out," which I love! Narrative, rhyming verse that a little bit zany and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

And since Shel is in my head, I offer you today's Poets on Poetry from Shel himself:

"Don't be dependent on anyone else - man, woman, child, or dog. I want to go everywhere, look at and listen to everything. You can go crazy with some of the wonderful stuff there is in life." - Shel Silverstein

... and apparently, write lots of poems! Shel gave few interviews, but I found this quote in an article from Mental Floss magazine.

And now, here's a favorite from the book:

Belinda Hated Getting Clean...
Belinda Beronda, from somewhere near Flushing,
was not keen on washing and not fond of brushing.
She was an inveterate cleanliness hater,
and always postponed her baths until later.
Her bodily odor grew stronger and stronger,
and her hair and her nails grew longer and longer.
Belinda was filthy, a terrible fright.
She looked like a pig, a horrible sight.
And when her mother finally came home
with soap and shampoo and a brush and a comb,
Belinda just started to yell, howl, and glower,
as if she was going to drawn in the shower.
Her mother - by now at the end of her tether-
gave in and shouted "Stay dirty forever!
But if that's what you want, you just walk out that door,
and I won't be your mother anymore!"
So that filthy little Belinda Beronda
took off up the street and started to wander
the highways and by ways all over the land,
getting grubby and covered with mud, dirt, and sand,
with grimy smudges all over her face.
The more she avoided a bathroom or scrubbery,
the more she began to resemble some shrubbery.
Grass started growing on her shoes and her clothes,
it covered one leg, then slowly rose,
until she was totally, thoroughly hid
and no one could see that she was a kid!
And then the roots grew into the ground,
and fixed her in place like a tree on a mound.
Birds came and build little nests on her sleeves,
and slowly she grew her own branches and leaves.
A nightmare, but true- you can take it from me --
Belinda Beronda turned into a tree.

So now you know, little cleanliness haters
end up as trees....sooner or later.

- Annie M.G. Schmidt

Ha! Good thing I'm not a cleanliness hater. :) Though, little nests on my sleeves? That might be cool... for a little while...


  1. Now there's a rollicking, down-in-the-dirt sort of poem! I can totally see why she reminds you of Uncle Shel.

  2. I'm guessing kids will love these. Thanks for sharing a new book.

  3. I think I need to share this poem as a love note to my teenager. Thanks also for this: "You can go crazy with some of the wonderful stuff there is in life." What wonderful words to live by!

  4. What a fun poem! I'm going to look out for that book. Thanks, Irene!

  5. Great to see that there's another zany poet out there like Shel Silverstein. I'll definitely look for this book. And thanks for finding a good quote from Shel, too.

  6. HA! Love this!! And the SS quote -- so true!

  7. Such a fun poem! We need more of these! :)


Your thoughts?