“Where did all those feelings go? People spend their whole lives looking for love. Poems and songs and entire novels are written about it. But how can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?”
“When they say the heart wants what it wants, they’re talking about the poetic heart—the heart of love songs and soliloquies, the one that can break as if it were just-formed glass.
They’re not talking about the real heart, the one that only needs healthy foods and aerobic exercise.”
“Forty-five cents was a good deal of money, but I didn’t want the ones for fifteen cents, not after I’d seen the others. I had more ideas. Tons of them. For stories and poems. I chewed the inside of my cheek, deliberating. I knew I would have to write a lot when I went to Barnard—if I went to Barnard—and it might be a good idea to get a head start. […] Guilt gnawed at my insides.”
“I think we had better start thinking about the poem ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’ I think it might embarrass Stuart to hear mice mentioned in such a belittling manner.”
“There were so many poems being born in Anastasia’s head that she ran all the way home from school to find a private place to write them down, the way her cat had once found a very private place -the pile of ironing in the pantry - in which to create kittens. But she discovered that it wasn’t easy. She hung the Do No Disturb sign from the Parker House Hotel on the doorknob of her bedroom door.”
“Awed, unique, and proud were three words that she had written on page seven of her green notebook. She kept lists of her favorite words, she kept important private information; and she kept things that she though might be the beginnings of poems, in her green notebook. No one had ever looked inside the green notebook except Anastasia.”
A collection of comedy poems, many with a sting in the tail that beg to be read aloud. The rhymes and rhythms are fairly simple and the bizarre topics ranging from the glory of snot to the fact that the word orange has no rhyme make these the ideal way to introduce young children to the glories of poetry.
The poems range from the nonsensical near nursery rhyming of ‘Quack!’ said the billy-goat and As I went down Zig Zag to the haunting ballad strain of Mary, Mary Magdalane and the lyrical beauty and intensity of such poems as My mother saw a dancing bear, Tom Bone and Who?
Here we meet many celebrated characters: Colonel Fazackerley, who was unlucky enough to buy an old castle complete with a ghost; Mr Pennycomequick, who jumped off the top of Launceston Castle using a carriage-umbrella as a parachute.
“Did dinosaurs talk? Did their scales fell off? Did their big feet stink? Where their tummies pink? Did they ever blow their noses? Was there dirt between their toeses? Did dinosaurs play? Do you think their mothers make them brush their teeth every day? NO WAY!”