Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Teacher said,
Leave out the the,
two too's one too too many
and and after the comma
should go after the any.

The the, the too -
and move the and
and that should make it flow.
Not that that, that that's fine -
but this that, that could go.

I said,
The the, the too, the and -
I would agree with you.
But I'm very fond of that -
this that and that that too.

Which that is that?
Is that this that?
Asked teacher with a grin.
Okay - but take that last in out
And leave that last out in.

From I Did Not Eat the Goldfish
Available from Amazon Click Here


Cocaine Jesus said...

And no wonder I struggled at school!!!

nicole said...

Teachers - poor confused souls.

Mystique said...

It's cute, sparks memories of childhood rhymes. Hehe.

Manish Bhatt said...

Roger that!

michael said...

Another comic gem from the master poit.

michael said...

Just found this by John Cooper Clarke which made me laugh - about Basildon my home town of all places!


Hope you enjoy it too.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent poem. Wonderful - so many memories stirred up! x

eden said...

im sure you dont know me but im enjoying your blog.

this is well written :)
by the way thanks for visiting my blog. pls. do again if you have time.

la devil said...

hey came from eden's blog.
nice poem...gota untwist my tongue nw :P
wil be bak later :)

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

This is one of my favourites

Lorena said...

this is clever :)
thanks for posting it.

finnegan said...

well, it's clear why you're a musician. this sucker's got musicality written all over it. I read it feeling the desire to have a backbeat and some bleating horns punctuating.

You must have had a visit from the notorious Dr. Seuss.

Amie said...

i felt like stuttering as i read it aloud. whew!

transience said...

now that was a good one! i would read it aloud over and over like an addiction.

the wheel said...

Ahh...Wonderful poem.

Syl said...

Teach said stop sniffing glue...Achoo! I said, did I ask you?
Teach said you write good, but
is it true?
I said, you tell me...was written
'bout you.
Teach said Been there, ain't going
I said til the story stops it's
not the end.

Cate said...

I recall conversations I have had with my students when both of us seemed to have been talking about different things at the same time and yet when you ask, "Do you understand?" they inevitably say yes. Someone needs to teach students to say, "No, I don't get it." And then to form a question about what they don't understand. But too little time, too many students, and too many roles for the teacher make that almost impossible in many classrooms. So we take the "yes" just because it lets us go on to a more pressing need. Kind of sad.

Also, I hope you and the people who comment on your blog will consider going to the "Artsy Fartsy Blog" at

He gives a picture and asks for people to comment on it. So far not many takers. It may be because, unlike your blog, he doesn't comment on the comments, thus there is no feedback and that's not very satisfying--still it is a place to write and that's always fun. Cate

Anonymous said...

I forgot to tell you what to look for. It's called "A Thousand Words" and a new picture is posted every business day. Cate

Liam Wilkinson said...

Great poem, Roger.

By the way, I'm back on the blog. No more ignorance. I promise. :0)

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I think students say they understand because it's what they think you want them to say. They don't understand adult priorities, why would they? And are afraid of looking foolish. I think adults need to admit to kids that they too don't always understand things at first and that that's OK

Roger Stevens said...

Thanks for the comments, all. Haven't had a chance to blog the last few days - been so busy. But new blog coming soon. And a chance to visit everyone else's of course.

Cate said...

I want to apologize for posting the site above and inviting everyone to participate. I didn't realize it was a breech of blog etiquette to do so, but just a few minutes ago while reading about manners on blogs, I found out that it wasn't appropriate. I feel duly chastized, and promise not to do it again. Hope you'll accept my apologies. Cate

Boomsa said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! :)

Anonymous Poet said...

Masterful! We have all run into someone (like a teacher) with that needling type of behavior, who tends to be so invasive that he or she doesn't realize the mess that is being made through attempts at "improvement."

More smart whimsy.