Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Tale for All Hallows’ Eve

"For he that toucheth pitch  shall be defiled ..."

Draw up your chair …

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
 Like quills upon the fretful porpentine … !

 Click here, then “Look Inside”,  to read for free …

Storm of the Century headed straight for *your* home !

Mindful that the Italian courts,  in the majesty of their wisdom, recently sentenced several scientists to prison for having failed to predict an earthquake (a thing which indeed is unpredictable, save here and there and in the most general terms, with uncertainties on either side  measured  not in days,  but in decades), the World of Dr Justice ®,  the world’s most trusted source of Reasonably Truthy  Science Stuff ©, is not about to make the same mistake.

Here is our Official Bulletin concerning the impending Hurricane Sandy:

Everyone from Florida to Canada should

Floridians! Abandon your vehicles (since the interstate will be in gridlock) and proceed on foot.  Don’t Look Back;  do not stop till you reach Canada.
Canadians!   Leave your hybrids in the carpark (since they have a carbon footprint), and proceed on foot to Florida.
Texans!  You unfortunately are a bit west of the epicenter;  proceed to the scene of the action at once (and take your guns).

While waiting for the fun to begin, grab yourself some popcorn and pull up a cosy chair,
and savor our earlier alarmist storm-of-the-century-related posts:

            The Day the Earth Stood Still
            Take Shelter -- NOW !!

*     *     *
~ Commercial break ~
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

*     *     *

[Sunday -- 11 a.m. ]  FLASH UPDATE
In Europe, the mayhem has already begun!
The reach of this unprecedented weather-system  spans the Atlantic !!

Les vents violents entraînent disparitions et incidents
Un enfant de 12 ans et un véliplanchiste de 26 ans sont portés disparus dans le sud du pays.

Flee your homes !!!

[Sunday -- 11:45 a.m]  EVEN FLASHIER UPDATE
And now it’s affecting the Pacific as well !

Emergency sirens sounded around Hawaii late Saturday warning  about an oncoming tsunami, after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Canada.

Will Hurrican Sandystein  respect no limits ??
U  R  doomed !!

[Sunday, 12:47 a.m.] FLASHIEST UPDATE OF ALL

Dateline NEWARK --  As in previous storms-of-the-century, city leaders are concerned about the possibility of storm-related looting:
Yet in an ironic development, even though the rain has yet to fall, the looting has begun already, in a celebratory mood.  “Why wait?” commented one participant.  “We’d get wet.  Plus, later, all the best stuff will be gone.”
At press-time, big-screen TVs were the most coveted items, with iPads and iPhones also doing a brisk business.

[Latest greatest update]

In Europe meanwhile, the situation grows worse and worse.  Here is just a sampling of the panicked commentary from readers:

Arrêtez de faire peur aux gens. Du temps de mes arrières grands-parents il y avait aussi des tempêtes . Mais évidemment sans télé, ni radio, personne n'était au courant, sauf ceux qui subissaient les intempéries et pour lesquelles ils n'en faisait pas une affaire d'Etat et encore moins de la publicité pour se faire mousser et ramasser l'argent des imbéciles.

For those of you whose French might be weak,  our crack Linguistics Team is offering the following official translations:

Mon dios, is storm of century 4 sure !   Just as like Nostradamus predicted !!  Rather than watch them suffer needlessly, I have just executed my entire family.

More at the top of the hour.


Meanwhile in America, Republicans have got their priorities straight:

Sandy’s reach will extend as far as 450 miles from its core, which prompted at least one governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, to order evacuations of coastal areas and the state’s casinos.

(Schools and hospitals will pretty much have to fend for themselves.)

Grateful accolades are pouring in from the likes of Sheldon Adelson  and Donald Trump.

[Update 3:05 p.m., 30 Oct 2012]
Big storms often bring out the best in neighbors and first-responders, but not in the media:  neither in the pre-storm breathlessness, nor the post-storm stirring-the-ashes in search of human interest.
Just heard the mid-afternoon NPR news.  With only five minutes to devote to all the happenings and doings around the planet, their featured segment consisted of a phone convo with a woman in Hoboken, who had not, herself, personally, experienced anything remarkable, nor witnessed anything of note (as she verified by briefly describing the scene from her apartment window), but who had seen some photographs (on the Internet or TV), which showed that certain streets of Hoboken were "literally" flooded.

Leave it to Romney, to take things  just one level lower.
Today he held a campaign event.  Not knocking him at all for that -- just because NY & NJ got rained on, no reason for the rest of the world to put life on hold.  He'd done business as usual, no beef from me.   But what he did instead was:
(a) announce that the event was canceled
(b) go ahead and hold it anyway, only
(c) now in the eye-service, Potemkin-village guise of "storm relief".
Now, had he flitted off to Battery Park or Red Hook and played Man-of-the-People, that would be bad enough.  But the event went on, as scheduled, in Ohio:   not for anything related to the storm, but because it's a swing state.
You can picture the scene, a few days from now, as unruffled New Yorkers, perfectly inured to Republican hostility ("FORD TO CITY:  DROP DEAD"), are once again dining in their favorite restaurants, when in rushes a worker from the Romney campaign, having finally made it out to the East Coast, brandishing a can of Cheeze-Whip or Macaroni-O soup.  "It's from Governor Romney!"

If elected, Romney may or may not get around to abolishing FEMA, as he earlier hinted he would do.  But quite likely he'll appoint a well-connected moron to head it up, as Dubya did.  The way to inspire public contempt for government, is to make government contemptible.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rootabaga Poems

[Note from the Raggedy Man, who found them in a barrel:
These are not all one big long poem, except in the same way that all of life is one big long poem.   The only reason they’re all printed here  all jostling up together, is that our family is too poor to afford more paper.  Each single piece between the little stars, is its own individual special lone personal poem.  Some of them are social, but most of them would just as soon be left alone. 
So, they shouldn’t ought to be read  one after the other  in rapid pitter-patter succession   like wolfing down peas off a knife.  Rather, read one, then go off and do things for many years, and later, if you’re still alive, read another one; or not. 
Better yet – they should all be split up, and each one given  to people on different planets, each planet would have its own lone special poem.
So here we go.]

Look – It’s Bozo the Button Buster!
whistling softly, sadly smiling,
all amid a pile of busted buttons.


[A couple of hundred years pass – you get the idea.]


“No-one knows the secret of the Thimblefolk, save the silentminded sleepypeepered Muffin Man.”
-- Hmmpf.  Did a cat tell you that?  Don’t believe it.  Never believe a cat.

Sometimes the sun’s so sad and slanty
it sends rays right through the windows in my head

The barrow-boy Nice ‘n’ Tiny  is tiny & nice:  whence the name.
But he knows something he is not letting on,
and it furrows his forehead like rain.

[Remember – We’re on another planet, now…]

So where does a cat go when the sky snows? – That way.
And who does the time flow if the mind blows? – This one.

In their burrow,  bunnies cluster,
whispering rootabagastories.

So dark, so dark!  Yet, like the night,
the green moon  sheds its dreambeams.

Oh oh!  Oh no!  It’s the Sandwich Man!
He’s come to sell us his sandwiches!
Run, children, run run run run runrunrunrunrun.

How well I recall, when we were but young,
laughing on the lap of the Potato Face Blind Man.
How he used to tell lies and lies!

Do – oo – oo . . .   you know,
Who – oo – oo . . .   it is ?   ?    ?
- - -  I do !!
IT’S :    the Potato Face Blind Man, with a sack on his back,
come to sell brushes to our mother.

One day    a terrible  Thing  happened;
but then it went away.
& the next day   a
sun shone     and
flowers blooming   bunnies zooming
all the mushrooms  getting married
several simply  hedgehogs happy
ducks & rainbows   getting dizzy
mice and moonbeams    feeling sleepy …

(Say goodnight to One-Horse Pappy.
-- Shush – don’t talk – you’ll wake the baby.)

“No-ow, I’m as generous as the next man,” said
(thumbs hooked in his vest pockets  decorated with dollar signs)
the Evil, Grasping, Stingy Stinking Miser;
“But I draw the line   at handing a dime
to an orphan on the point of dying for lack of a donut.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Semantic Audacity

By this point, I really hate commenting on US electoral politics.  If Paul Krugman still has the stomach for it, God bless him.   But it is like weighing the relative merits of turds in a toilet bowl.   I can’t stand it.

So, a couple of minutes ago, at the top of the hour, I switch on NPR, just to see if the lead story is something significant and brand-new -- Spain’s government collapses, Israel bombs yet another country, some celebrity or other tries a new diet -- only to hear this.
Speaking not (the report emphasized) ex tempore, but (as befits a major policy announcement), reading a prepared text off the teleprompter, Romney said :

This is not the time to double-down on the trickle-down policies that have failed us…

Had I been sitting in a chair, I would have fallen out of it.  As it was, some rather expensive single-malt  sloshed  and was lost to humanity forever.  Qua linguist, I was alarmed.
On the linguistics of doubling-down and its congeners, we have unbosomed ourselves here:
But what of its jingling companion in Romney’s mot -- “trickle-down”.

Don’t take my word for it -- here’s how Wiki defines it:

"Trickle-down economics" and "the trickle-down theory" are terms in United States politics to refer to the idea that tax breaks or other economic benefits provided by government to businesses and the wealthy will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole.

More epigrammatically:  Feed the billionaires, and perhaps they’ll tip the help. -- In other words -- exactly Romney’s position.

Now, as Chairman Mao once said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom”.  And “trickle-down” is such a flower;  fine.  We tried it, under many a Republican President.  Empirical upshot:   A tide that rises owing to “trickle-down”,  does not lift all ships:  It lifts the yachts, while the rowboats and fishing-smacks  plunge to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Well -- just being strictly linguistico-logical here -- maybe you think that’s a good thing:  Good riddance to the forty-seven percent (or more like 99%, but anyway …) 
Still, it is semantically, lexically, linguistically, frigging indisputable that “trickle-down” is associated with plutocrats and their minions;  as opposed to the Democrats, whose policy (maintaining a polemical balance here) is to subsidize the pimpmobiles of welfare queens or whatever, while declaring Class Warfare against anyone who has worked his fingers to the bone to earn an honest (well, anyhow, legal, under current tax law) billion.

So what is going on here?  Evidently Romney figured:
            (a) The average voter has only two functioning neurons.
            (b) One of them has somehow (curses!) taken it into its tiny little head, that “trickle-down” doesn’t work for the little guy.
This presents a serious problem to his candidacy.  Therefore, following the noted maxim of Casey Stengel (“L’audace, l’audace, toujours de l’audace!”) Romney simply co-opts the phrase, ascribes it to his enemies -- and occupies that single other neuron of the moron  with a beguiling rhyme (double-down … trickle-down … double-down … trickle-down …).  With no available third neuron to evaluate the trick, the voter is beguiled.

Are Americans really that stupid?
We’ll know in a few days.

[Update]  Lap it up, puppies, you'll like it, it's good for you.

Romneycare --  A sneak peak into your future!

It’s one of those heartwarming tales from the campaign trail:
a small, small business, in Mitt Romney’s own home state of Massachusetts --
just Maw ‘n’ Paw ‘n’ Sister Sue, getting up with the sun to milk the cows,
and to build their very own smalllllll  business,
free from the heavy hand of federal regulation!

Of course,  as a result, many people had to die, or be brain-damaged for life,
but that is a small price to pay for our freedoms.

Ooh, that spoilsport FDA!  Dun worry, Mitt Romney gonna fix your wagon!

Voters Demand a Pony !!

In an unanticipated late-breaking development, Professor Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize economist and op-ed blackbelt ninja, has announced his candidacy for the Presidency  with a stunning new socio-economic plan:

If describing what you want to see happen without providing any specific policies to get us there constitutes a “plan,” I can easily come up with a one-point plan that trumps Mr. Romney any day. Here it is:
=> Every American will have a good job with good wages.
=> Also, a blissfully happy marriage.
=> And a pony.

A … pony!  How cool is that?  He’s promising way more than those Republican and Democrat pikers.  So … on election day … 

=> Write in this name: <=
 >> Paul Krugman for President <<
“A Pony in every Pot”

The Rootabagan Creation-Myth

Time was, Time itself
was all curled up around inside itself,
like nectar in a flower.
And there it lay dreaming,
an age and a day.

Till along one day  dropped by
the sweetly silent, slyly smiling
honeybumble mumblebee:
and It
did sip
from that deep cup.

Then, Forth
from the flowerfolded   gentle-petaled
bud of All that Is,
came  tumbling & rumbling
a fanfare from the Horn of Plenty --

moonstones, sunbeams,
tinymice and bunny-babies,
stems - stalks - stars - storks
taffycats and caterpillars

on and down and out and
being born,   being born,
being born …

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Conclusive Proof, that All the World is but a Footnote to the Rootabaga Stories

Ladies, Penguins, and Gentlemen of the Jury:
If it please the Court –

In the Rootabaga Stories, we find foreshadowed, everything that has ever been thought or written  before or since.  Evidential examples:

=> Scrooge McDuck: a straightforward rewriting of Johnny the Wham, who slept in his money bin, covered with money.

=> The Catcher in the Rye: an obvious ripoff of the “ball towns hidden in the tall grass.”

=> Homer the Bard: a knockoff of the Potato Face Blind Man, minus the accordion.

=> The Riemann Hypothesis: just like the grasshoppers that learned to count, and kept on  counting and counting.   Same basic idea.

Go ahead – just try to stump me.

“OK try this one:  ‘Four score and seven years—‘ “
“—The Potato Face Blind Man said that.”

“ ‘To be or not to—‘ “
“—Dippy the Wisp said that.”

You see?

Does any man argue to the contrary?  No?  Good then.
I  rest  my  case.

The Theology of Rootabaga

The Lord loves flapjacks.  How’d I know?
Potato Faced Blind Man 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I went out into the wee wide world, with my listening-ears on, to hear what our fellow-folk were saying, in the fields and feedlots, dimestores and dram-shops,  hayrides and waysides  and over cakes and tea.   So here you have it:  Statements overheard  on the broad clean streets  of our everyday own town,  right here in Rootabaga country.

“I hear tell Bozo the Button Buster is sweet on Flossie the Feather Duster.”
“I’m hearing much the same thing.”

“Mrs. Portly is proud  of her prize plump pumpkin.”
“As well she might be!  The prize pumpkin’s pleased as Punch with her.”

“… just like the Blind Man said.”
“Now, … which Blind Man might you be referring to?  Old Potato Face, or the other one?”

“…and old man Weatherrumper, with a sly eye, just like he was a-knowing something.”
Oh yes, he knows, but he ain’t lettin’ on!”

“… sittin’ on a fence post, just as pleased as he could be!”

“Cushionhead – you’re a man of sense!  So let me ask you:
whether quick Sally Klippspringer,
or sly Solly Rippledinger,
will win the prize this year.”

(chucking her under the chin) “So say, Mother Wamperknuckle, tell me what have you fixed  for my own fine dinner.”
“Aw, g’wan with you!” (pleased, though). “Just spuds ‘n’ goobers, with a little salt.”

“’Scuse please, me I’m just going to the moon, get me a piece of cheese.”
“Miss Millikins, you’ll do  no  such  thing!”

“…when who should I see  but Wee Missie Middlethumbkin,  fiddling with her bonnet string.”

“Now Tommy, you put that bickerjingle   back into the bickerjingle jar.”

“No no, not that one.   The big brass bong with the buttons on ‘er.”

So, all is as well as well might be, right here in  Rootabaga Country.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

La conjuration des imbéciles

Fouad Laroui has a witty and observant radio-essay on some recent meshugaas from Haarlem  (the double -aa- is accurate in both cases), which you can savor here:

A school was decorated with some calligraphy reminiscent of arabesque, though the letters were Latin. “C’est alors que la conjuration des imbéciles  se mit en branle.”  Right-wing xenophobes and “salafis analphabètes” (pour ne pas dire: analphabêtes)  sounded the alarm:  This was Arabic writing, was the (innaccurate) cry from both (otherwise interopposing) sides; and either vocally opposed it, though for opposite reasons.

What caught my attention was this detail:   When their linguistic error was pointed out, nobody slapped his forehead and said “My bad!”;  rather, they redoubled in vehemence, contriving further reasons for outrage.   And this is but too reminiscent of the scene in America these dark days, where (among others) the Birthers are simply outside the realm of logic, evidence, and rational discourse.

Fawns on the Front Lawn

Fawns on the front lawn, nibbling the flowers.
I cannot begrudge them this.
Bless them, as we ourselves are blessed.
Gratias agimus tibi, Domine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stalinist Science Policy

Back in the day,
if a bridge collapsed  in the Soviet Union,
Stalin would execute the engineers.

This had a remarkably bracing effect upon those currently so employed,
but (alas) impinged negatively  on future recruitment.


And, now, in our own day,
in a land far away, called Italia,
purporting to pertain to the civilized world,

we have an echo of this:

A court found six scientists and an official guilty of manslaughter for failing to properly warn residents in the central Italy city of L’Aquila about the risk of an impending earthquake that killed more than 300 people in 2009.
The three-judge court handed down a prison sentence of six years for each of the defendants, more than the four years requested by the prosecution in a case that many thought should never have gone to court because of the virtual impossibility of predicting an earthquake.

A reader  acutely comments:

When not predicting earthquakes is outlawed, only outlaws will not predict earthquakes.


In this insane decade  here in America,  Republicans have been going after climate scientists who report things that the Tea Party would rather not hear.
Yet none of them has gone so far as this bold Italian initiative.
If the Romney-Adelson ticket wins,
expect that to change …

*     *     *
~ Commercial break ~
Relief for beleaguered Nook lovers!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

*     *     *
[Footnote:   To forestall any such possible contretemps,
the World of Dr Justice predicts
that an earthquake (and, for good measure, a volcano)
are about to hit your very own house.
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES !!!!!!!!!!! ]

[Update 13 XI 2012]  For further European judicial instances of what are arguably overreaching into technical matters, click this:

[Update 22 XI  2013]

For a further essay on a matter of public science policy:
     Climate Change

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Swift as the hunter is subtle the reindeer is fleet

Swift as the hunter is subtle   the reindeer is fleet.
Lush as the honey she suckles   the queen-bee is sweet.

            Soundless today but for the sounds of local living
            by those too small to heed another noise.

Baked as a bun in the oven   the brick sitting suns,
stréaked with blate   white   as a street  waves    the brook-water runs.

Bereft as a river in winter    the mourning doves sing
in a   soft as the low clouds are lofty   sad song to the spring.

            Far as the eyrie    precarious upon a pinnacle
            wings  the eagle    balancing aloft a wind.

Bright as a butterly's coloured    the chrysalis spins
by a   thin as the thorax is timid   thread,    gently in wind.

As lean as a finger is crooked,  the millipede crawls
on the rim of these   brick as a river is    back-garden walls.

Bent as a boat to the task  wends the ant through the dew,
fálling down, violent and tiny, and rising anew.

Rash as his hunger is lovely   the bumblebee stings
falling     dead as the  red as an orchid   flesh     wretchedly wrings.

Yet what is that new scent upon the wind,
            as were danger a flower?
            The doe has sniffed the smell of him
            whose hand would bow her.

Hushed as the lace of a coverlet   borders the woods
upon   green as the season is grasslike   sweet cloverful field.

Tough in the trunk of the oak   bark grows tempered as teak;
corrupted as sponge   stigmas yield  neath the hummingbird's beak.

Crouching, senses tensing, he is nearing her now
            Sniffing, sensing, drawing the bow…           

-- Rushed   for the hunter is running   the reindeer now flees,
while   hushed as the petal is supple    buzz  humming  the bees.

            The hunter blunders blindly in a rush
            to track the doe whose high hoof gores the bush.           

Seeker… sought… and some one other thing…

            Then lo  as from the woods she bounds
            the doe is frozen:  for the sun has seized the scene.
            Nor does such as herself  would seize
            (whose boot  one last dark root   treads   as he leaves the leaves)
            'scape seizure: sun-seized equally

As subtly and as quickly as the deer   now rusts his gun;
the hunter ages eighty years; his bones bake in the sun.

The doe draws up in sunlight, and her eyes in query blink.
The noble neck untenses, by the stream she droops to drink.

All memory of chase now fades, for danger now is passed.
Protected from all age she grazes,  timeless as the grass.

[A note on prosody:
The initial, unindented couplets  are of eight beats each:
Five dactylic, and three of silence.
The indented lines  have no meter, save that of speech, or thought.
For an example of dactylic pentameter (an isolated line in an otherwise speech-timed prose-poem by Whitman):

   Nature  now without check, with original energy.

The language of the poem  is only-somewhat-older English,
mixed with a bit of

[As for the state of mind here embodied, cf. this: ]

A Voice from the Pulpit

“… So you’ll find it all right  there,”  concluded the preacher,
closing the well-worn leatherbound volume, and thumping it familiarly with his palm.
“Right there in the Rootabaga Stories.”

A momentary confusion.
“I meant the Bible, of course.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Sorrowful Admission

Yes, well,
let’s be frank and manly about it.
No sense in crying about what’s done & done.
There is nothing that I have ever penned or said
that was not previously uttered, in so many words, by Bozo the Button Buster,
and probably twelve times better, if we can believe the duck.

An Unexpected Guest

Who’s that knockknocking   at my garden gate?
Why, it’s the Potato Face Blind Man, as I live and breathe!
Come on in, and rest your pegs, and puff a pipe awhile.
You do the listening, and I’ll tell the lies.

*  *

[Well, now, that was fun, and that was fine.   But sometimes a man has got to face facts,
and here they are:  ]

Friday, October 19, 2012

How Was I to Know???

How was I to know,
that every single thing I’d ever
do or say or think or feel or dream
was already present, to the letter, spelled out,
right there in the Rootabaga Stories,
exactly as I (centuries thereafter)
did do it, said it, thought it, felt it, dreamt it?
How could a body have possibly known that?

And so, like a fool, I lived a life all over again,
exactly as predicted by the Potato Face Blind Man.


[Liked that?  Sure you did.
Reckoned you would.
You'll likely like this too: ]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

C. Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories: the Verdict of the Committee

e e cummings but with whole words and without the funnyfancy typography eom




[Now, you've probably got some chores to do, so go run along and do'em.  Don't keep Ma waiting.
But when you're done, you can click right here: ]

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cahiers du Cinéma

The following methodology of psycho-cinematic criticism  has been approved by The Committee:

Take any film in which you wish to see more deeply,
and mute the soundtrack,
substituting  an  overandover-play   of  (say)

Bobby Darin, “Backstreet Girl”

Quinean monostich in triplicate (updated/sublated)


~ ~
~ ~ ~

sporadic     uncut    apple stuff
sporadic     uncut    apple stuff
sporadic     uncut    apple stuff

~ ~ ~
~ ~
[Chant to the tune of:  “Puff - Puff - Cocoa Puffs!”
-- with which, ye gods, this almost rhymes.
The quotation is from Word and Object.]

[Nota bene:  If you have been paying attention, 
you will notice that all three of the keywords in the subject-line  assonate…
Cf. pronunciation of:  quineanmonostich.]

[Update 17 October 2012]  Since this odd posting  has recently received a number of hits, I re-viewed it, to see what it might be about.
Good … God … is this obscure.
Hardly anyone who wasn’t with me at Harvard (Class of ’71 -- and no, wiseguy, that’s not 1871)  would have an inkling.
So -- coming clean, before I must meet St Peter --
=> the “Cocoa Puffs” reference is to a rhythmic TV commerical of the 1950s,
which we, pint-sized captive audience, took in with our innocent ears.
=> The line from Quine 
aye … the line from Quine …
is a piece of (minimalist) Found Poetry, 
from out of a fairly dense and donnish linguistico-philosophical work.
The overarching point being:
Poetry is everywhere
           ev   er   y
                                          where ….

[Update 23 October 2012]  
There is yet a deeper point -- underarching, if you will --
which some of you  may have guessed.
Which is:   that these surface eruptions of the poetic verve
themselves  are but   as the mouths of a volcano
pointing  deepwards
to the living lava
lying beneath ……………………..

Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories: A Centennial Assessment

Someone in a newspaper mentioned Rootabaga Stories, and I say to myself:  Why not just up and read this book?  So I go to the library and – next thing you know!
So I look at this book, at how nice it is and all, and set aside a time for crying, that I never did read this book as a child, nor was it ever read to me; although I’d heard tell of it.
            But then I read on a little more, and the next thing you know, an entirely different kind of idea is inside my head.  Which is:  that this book, no way it should be placed into the hands of any child beneath the age of forty-five.  He reads it, he grows up a Surrealist!  You talk like that book there, nobody can’t half understand what you’re saying, ‘cepting the Potato Face Blind Man – and he’s asleep!
            So no:  Your little ones want something to read, you give ‘em something straightforward and sensible, like Moby Dick.

[Like another slice of that pie?  Click here:
Go ahead! 'Twon't bite you.