Poems of the Week

William Wonka and the Big Friendly Person of Large Stature

by Steve Bremner

“In new editions of Roald Dahl’s beloved stories… [t]he publisher, Puffin, has made hundreds
of changes to the original text, removing many of Dahl’s classic, timeless and colourful descriptions
and making his characters less grotesque.”

The Telegraph

Ever since Humpty Dumpty bought the farm
Along with Jack and Jill, and bough and Baby,
(Cradle and all), our kids have seen no harm
In gross grotesquerie and gore. But maybe
We need an interdiction, firm and formal,
On all things crass, invidious, and cranky?
(The sort of stuff that, if said kids are normal,
They’ll read with flashlight underneath the blankie.)
So let’s give this obscenity a beating:
Let’s find some kids on suitable occasions—
Around a campfire or while trick-or-treating—
And weave them yarns of linear equations.
We direly need some frumpy farmer’s wife
To cut our tales off with a carving knife.