Last week a language arts teacher at my school asked me to write an elegy to share with her students. At first I thought she meant a eulogy, but she set me straight: an elegy is a poem honoring a deceased person, whereas a eulogy is a speech that is read at a funeral. Who knew?
The hardest part was coming up with a subject that could bridge the generation gap between my 42-year-old self and a pack of 130 8th graders. My friend Janelle had the idea to write about Dr. Seuss – which was brilliant since his birthday is today!
In honor of the great Theodore Geisel, I share my elegy to him:
A child toddles across the floor
Clutching a book, begging for more
Characters dance across an imaginary stage
Cats and fish and an elephant in a cage
Fun to read, but a message too
Here are some life lessons we learn from you:
Try new foods, cut down fewer trees
Burping can topple self-righteous dynasties
Size doesn’t matter, not one little bit
Holidays aren’t about shopping spree fits
Those who heed these tips will go far
Whether by boat or ship or foot or car
Thank you for your books and your lessons too
A child’s love of reading starts with you
I thought it would be too obvious, but the students really had to talk through each line to identify the subject. It was a very fun activity!
Tomorrow a crew of my high schoolers will visit local elementary schools to read Dr. Seuss books with the students, and every kiddo who checks out a book from our library will get a Seuss-y treat. (It’s a frosted pretzel “egg” with a green M&M “yolk” – so fun and simple!) Even big kids still love Dr. Seuss!
And of course we held a small celebration here at home tonight. Maggie read Green Eggs and Ham while we prepared our Seussian dinner of ham, greenish deviled eggs, and Cat in the Hat bowtie noodles.
(Yes, I apologized to my husband for snapping this photo while he was mid-chew, but I was afraid he’d whip off that adorable hat if he saw the camera in advance. He is such a good sport!)
Can’t wait to celebrate tomorrow in the library. In the meantime, Happy 110th Birthday Dr. Seuss!