A Life in Six Verses

Publication Date: March, 2019

Location: poetsonline.org, then go to Archive, then ‘Seussical’.

Genesis: The rather curious-sounding prompt was actually to write something in the style of Theodore Geisel, otherwise known (and loved) as Dr. Seuss. His work was aimed at children, and brilliantly helped them in early language acquisition by using repetition and catchy rhymes that could almost be remembered without trying, after a few bedtime read-throughs with Mum or Dad. In another instance of beautiful synchronicity, I’d had the two lines that appear in every verse except for the last one: “And I like it now more / Than I liked it before” for a few months. I liked the beat of them, and they were just looking for the right home. They were my starting point, and the rest of the poem almost built itself around them.

 
 I lie on the floor
 And I like it now more
 Than I liked it before
 When it was rather a bore
 To lie on the floor.
  
 I hear a crow caw
 And I like it now more
 Than I liked it before
 When it made my ears sore
 To hear a crow caw.
  
 I walk by the shore
 And I like it now more
 Than I liked it before
 With my gold Labrador
 As I walk by the shore.
  
 I am breaking the law
 And I like it now more
 Than I liked it before –
 In prison for four,
 Just for breaking the law!
  
 They’ve sent me to war
 And I like it now more
 Than I liked it before
 All the blood and the gore
 That you see in a war.
  
 A hailstorm of lead.
 I’m hit twice in the head.
 The world’s turning red,
 Holding on by a thread.
 Soon I’ll be dead. 

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