Friday, April 2, 2010

Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes, you say. That’s poetry? Yup, I say and it’s usually the first poems any of us learn. But like fairy tales, nursery rhymes can have interesting origins, but seem to lack the violent imagery common to fairy tales.

Take this for example:

“Little Bo Peep Story”
Little Bo peep has lost her sheep
And doesn't know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they'll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.
Little Bo peep fell fast asleep
And dreamt she heard them bleating,
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were all still fleeting.
Then up she took her little crook
Determined for to find them.
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they left their tails behind them.
It happened one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side
All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling,
And tried what she could,
As a shepherdess should,
To tack again each to its lambkin.
From: Nursery Rhymes

Check out for more nursery rhymes.

Also RhymeZone is a very cool rhyming site has hints for rewriting Mary Had A Little Lamb and writing nursery rhymes in general. And if you’re still wondering, what is a poem, check out this link.


Rowenna said...

Good point about nursery rhymes and poetry :) I know a lot of them had satirical/political meanings as well, but of course don't actually remember what any of those are.

Plus they make me think of the Defenestration Song--just delete the fourth line of any nursery rhyme and tack "And threw it out the window" to the third line. IE: Jack and Jill went up the hill/to fetch a pail of water/Jack fell down and broke his crown/Jill threw him out the window, the window, the second story window...

It's one of my favorite ways to annoy my husband.