Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Eerie Nursery Rhymes

Greetings, dearest Toads! Welcome to another Sunday Mini-Challenge. Grab your muse and let’s explore uncanny poetry… with youngsters in it. Children can be delightfully creepy. The same can be said of some of the lullabies we sing to them, and of many of the nursery rhymes they like to sing amongst themselves. Remember the cute:

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

What’s sweeter than a rosie and a bunch of posies in spring? Very few things, I’m sure. But that double shot of ashes is just eerie. One of my favorites—and a much (much!) darker bone chiller—appears in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle:

“Merricat, said Constance, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.
Merricat, said Constance, would you like me to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!”

Both the motif and tone of these lines make me blink a few extra times. For today’s challenge, I’m looking for seemingly sweet lullaby-like poems, which ooze this sort of creepiness. Craft them fun, write them dark, make my inner-giggling-child want to run far, far, far.
  
 Detail from the cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle

 Please, feed Mr. Linky (below) with the direct link to your poem.
Visit other Toads. Their poems want to sing to you, really. 

21 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

I'm quite excited to see what everybody is going to brew. :-)

Rommy said...

Damon you woman, you made me rhyme again!

Hannah said...

Thank you!

Fireblossom said...

GREAT challenge! In case you didn't know, the aroma of flowers was said to ward of "miasma", thought to transmit the plague via bad air. Not enough people were alive and healthy to dig graves during the Black Death, so bodies were burned. Hence, ashes, ashes. DEE-lightful!

Fireblossom said...

ward OFF, that should be.

Magaly Guerrero said...

@Rommy, just wait until you have to endure my rhyming, lol!

@Hannah, Yay!

@Fireblossom, They still do it in some parts of the world--flowers and incense. Have you read Dancing on the Grave, by Niel Barley? There is a lot of fascinating things about flowers and funerals in that book, some of them are quite... uncanny.

hedgewitch said...

Wonderful prompt, Magaly, as only your delightfully creepy own self could do--I will see what happens, though of late, writing seems more like a distant memory.

Debi Swim said...

I don't get dark easily so here's a couple of tries.

brudberg said...

The eerie came easy... but the seemingly sweet was harder... But there are some sick flowers here at least.

Magaly Guerrero said...

@Hedgewitch, I know whatever you come up with is going to be darkly yummy. I just know.

@Debi, I think you did more than well. I loved it!

@Bjorn, You and I seem to have gone the same way. Maybe our sweetness levels were on low today. :-D

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Fascinating – you say 'ashes'? Here , that line is, 'Atishoo! Atishoo!'

Busy busy, but I'll see what I can come up with.

Kerry O'Connor said...

These are a lot of fun to read!

brudberg said...

Sorry I had to do a second this was just too fun.

Stacie Eirich said...

Oh this prompt has been so much fun to read all the responses to. I'm not sure I'll get to writing poetry today but I've enjoyed nonetheless. And it makes me want to go get out all my old fairytales and Victorian kid lit from college!:-) Delicious.

Magaly Guerrero said...

@Rosemary, I was looking around and noticed that there are a lot of versions. Now my curiosity is completely involved, so I might have to do a bit of research to see what else is out there. A nursery rhyme that includes bits from funeral rites must have a very deep history.

@Kerry, I've really enjoyed every bit.

@Bjorn, Don't you ever apologize for extra yumminess!

@Stacie, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the entries. I've been all giggles and startled eyes since the prompt went live. I hope you choose to delight in your old fairy tales and Victorian children's literature (I swear, the latter contains some of the creepiest and yummiest nursery rhymes out there).

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Fireblossom-Very interesting I didn't know that!

I got to this late on Sunday but what fun! I have been very busy recently playing catch up, I will get to reading I can't wait.

I love to write about any subject dark or light and love a reason to rhyme. I have always thought of sleeping as a small death every night so this was perfect for my take. I can see why some would write more than once if only I had the time.

Have a good week everyone! Hugs! Bekkie

Susie Clevenger said...

Ironically, I hadn't even read comments about the plague until now and I used a plague mask photo as my image for my poem and although I didn't mention the word plague I was thinking about the plague of hate that sadly took lives this weekend.

Magaly Guerrero said...

@Bekkie, I think you nailed that feeling.

@Susie, A plague indeed. I wonder when we'll be able to stop it from continuing to spread...

Gillena Cox said...

Its Monday yet i only just got, so thats how im serving it up; LATE
Have a good week toads. Thanks for a lovely ehh EERie prompt Magaly

much love...

Stacie Eirich said...

Ok -- I wrote one! Very surprised that that happened. And grateful. :-) Thanks Magaly!

Magaly Guerrero said...

@Gillena, Yummy poetry is never late. Especially when it has graveyards in it. ;-)

@Stacy, Off to see what you've concocted for us! ♥