As a child, I loved hearing my mother wrap her gentle, melodic voice around the diverse rhythms and rhymes of the Mother Goose verses. They were my initiation into the wonderful world I later learned to appreciate as poetry.
As an adult, I still take great pleasure in reading, writing, and contemplating the poem in all its various manifestations, from the rough, rambling free verse of Whitman to the studied metrical perfection of Frost and from the ancient splendor of the Greek and Roman epics to the psychological and sociological masterpieces of the contemporaries. But I am sounding too much like a lit professor here, and that hat has been hanging on the rack for several years now.
As Googie, I have had cause to reacquaint myself with the likes of Little Boy Blue, Little Miss Muffet, and their equally imaginative counterparts in the Land of Mother Goose. It has been like a homecoming of sorts, one of those "full-circle" experiences we are always hearing about. But since I am not quite ready to close up the circle completely at this point, I think I will go off on a tangent and indulge my whim for parody at the expense of the good Mother Goose, who will (hopefully) appreciate the humor and the effort and not squawk or flap too loudly. Here goes:
Little Bo-Peep, as you know, found her sheep.
Every day they eat wholesome and hearty.
As a word to the wise, just let me advise
That you never eat dip at her party.
Old Mother Hubbard got from her cupboard
A bone for her poodle Marie.
Now wasn't it odd that this sinister broad
Would stash bones where the food ought to be?
Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle.
The cow tried to jump o'er the moon.
Oh no, just her luck! The bovine got stuck,
And her udder stretched like a balloon.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
(How smart was that, being thin-shelled and all?)
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Had the cook scramble eggs--and old Humpty fed ten!
About that old woman who lived in a shoe--
She was only about an inch tall, maybe two.
Her kids? Microscopic! So what's the big deal
If they went off to bed without eating a meal?
I could go on, but I don't want to stretch the good Mother's patience too thin. I have had my fun for today. But in the back of my mind, I can't help wondering--just how might I mutilate The Owl and the Pussycat?