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Poem by Another Author and Critique

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TELEVISION

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Roald Dahl

 

Television Poem

This poem clearly is about television. It talks about how nowadays all that children do is watch TV for hours and hours on end. Nowadays kids don't like reading books. I bet that if I were to survey our class that more then half of them would say that they don't even read 3 books a month on average. And I am sorry to say that I probably don't do that either. I have only been reading the book that I am doing for our Readers Workshop Projects and maybe another one now and then. Parents nowadays don't have the time to be reading their kids books and doing activities with them. That’s why the television is so useful. A parent can go have a shower, make dinner, and other things and not have to worry about what the kid is getting into. But as the poem says it turns our brain into mush. It stops us from accessing our imagination. Without our imagination our world would be blah, there would be nothing to it. My mom used to say that I had a great imagination. I could see pictures out of ordinary everyday things about the house. Like the stipples on my ceiling. When I was younger and played games with my friends outside all the time I would look up there and be able to see different things, usually faces looking back at me. But now I found that as I grew older and started watching more TV when I look up at the ceiling, I don't see those faces anymore. I just see the stipples. My imagination is being washed away, and that makes me mad, and sad. I would love it if I could look up at the ceiling again and see those peoples faces. Now I am sure that you could grow your imagination back to the way is used to be, like in the book I just recently read for Readers Workshop, 'The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles' but it would probably never be the way it used to be. But for the people who can read, they should be reading more often. Reading is a joy, something that you should love to do. This poem tells you to get rid of your television. It will only ruin your life, have you lose your imagination. Now you don't want that do you?

Little Story

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