I’ve been thinking a lot about rhyme lately, how it’s almost impossible to write a contemporary poem with conventional rhyme, but songs and nursery rhymes still rely on rhyme. Children especially love rhyme, and some of my favorite children’s poetry is by A.A. Milne, who in addition to Winnie the Pooh, has two books of children’s verse, Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young.
I was reciting these to my grandson the other day, to both of our delight:
Disobedience James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree Took great Care of his Mother Though he was only three. James James Said to his Mother, "Mother," he said, said he; "You must never go down to the end of the town, if you don't go down with me." James James Morrison's Mother Put on a golden gown, James James Morrison's Mother Drove to the end of the town. James James Morrison's Mother Said to herself, said she: "I can get right down to the end of the town and be back in time for tea." King John Put up a notice, "LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED! JAMES JAMES MORRISON'S MOTHER SEEMS TO HABE BEEN MISLAID. LAST SEEN WANDERING VAGUELY QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD, SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN TO THE END OF THE TOWN - FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD! James James Morrison Morrison (Commonly known as Jim) Told his Other relations Not to go blaming him. James James Said to his Mother, "Mother," he said, said he, "You must never go down to the end of the town with- out consulting me." James James Morrison's Mother Hasn't been heard of since. King John Said he was sorry, So did the Queen and Prince. King John (Somebody told me) Said to a man he knew: "If people go down to the end of the town, well, what can anyone do?" (Now then, very softly) J. J. M. M. W. G. du P. Took great C/o his M***** Though he was only 3. J. J. Said to his M***** "M*****," he said, said he: "You-must-never-go-down-to-the-end-of-the-town-if- you-don't-go-down-with ME!"