by Laura Elizabeth Richards
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)
Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)
I have been reading poems off and on all day long, or at least all morning long, in between phone calls and emails, taking a little break here and there to read a poem while I tried to find something that I thought merited being in the list of 365 poems that are worth reading and rhyme, etc., and I stumbled across this one.
I liked it because of the wordplay and the fun way it read; even reading it silently to myself I enjoyed the way the words jumped around in my mind. It immediately made me want to read this poem to kids, to Mr Bunches and Mr F, perhaps, although I'm not sure how much they would appreciate it, but I wanted to read it to them, anyway, right away.
To me, that's one of the hallmarks of a good, or great, poem: you want to read it aloud, again and again, and share it with people, and it rolls around in your mind. That may be true of anything you read that is good or great, but with poems, the rhythm and the rhymes make them more... sticky.