This is my copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it’s a bit tattered as you can see. I have just finished reading it to my ten year old son. A chapter a night, snuggled together in bed, something we both looked forward to. Next week I’ll begin the second part, Through the Looking Glass.
Rereading this classic brought me so much joy, especially all the nonsense verse, parodies of rhymes popular in that day.
When learning to write in rhyme and meter it is often helpful to borrow a poem and rewrite it using the same rhythmic pattern. Lewis Carroll did it brilliantly with all his poems but I especially like this one…
Here’s the original by Isaac Watts.
How doth the little busy Bee
Improve each shining Hour,
And gather Honey all the day
From every opening Flower!
How skilfully she builds her Cell!
How neat she spreads the Wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet Food she makes.
In Works of Labour or of Skill
I would be busy too:
For Satan finds some Mischief still
For idle Hands to do.
In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
Let my first Years be past,
That I may give for every Day
Some good Account at last. 
And here is Lewis Carroll’s version…
- How doth the little crocodile
- Improve his shining tail,
- And pour the waters of the Nile
- On every golden scale!
- How cheerfully he seems to grin,
- How neatly spreads his claws,
- And welcomes little fishes in
- With gently smiling jaws!
This version is certainly more playful.
Here’s my version…
How doth the naughty puppy dog
Improve its owner’s mood
Insisting that the slimy frog
Is perfect for its food
How wickedly he licks his lips
And leaps a graceful romp
While down his throat the froggy slips
And croaks it by the swamp
Have you ever borrowed the meter of a poem?
If you have and you’d like to share it here, please do.