Books Paranormal and Carnivale Picture Book Challenge 2012 Picture Books Poetry Friday Reading Themes

Poetry Friday Double Feature: A Mark Svendsen/Tim Burton Special

Fats here.

Hello readers! We at GatheringBooks are proud to once again host today’s Poetry Friday!! This Poetry Friday, in particular, is special for a few reasons: 1) we are doing a double feature on Mark Svendsen and Tim Burton; 2) the poems featured today coincide with our bimonthly theme; and 3) it’s Myra’s birthday!! YayYuhhhh!! 🙂 If you have poems to share, visit Myra’s ‘versified’ round-up post to share your awesome links. Happy Poetry Friday everyone!!

Mark Svendsen’s Circus Carnivore, as illustrated by Ben Redlich, was among the books I found while browsing through circus-themed picture books for our Circus, Carnivale, and Paranormal Twists. Circus Carnivore is fun, wacky, and wild – if you would even allow such words to describe a picture-book-in-verse! Mark Svendsen took liberty in creating a bunch of “noise-some” words that readers will find in the book. Ben Redlich has illustrated more than 20 picture books for children, and his illustrations in the book remind me of the art of Shaun Tan and Tim Burton, as well as the artwork found in a children’s graphic novel called The Return of the Dapper Men.

Circus Carnivore tells the story of a little girl named Kate who throws fits when she doesn’t get her way. She yells and screams, and spurts out a variety of “noise-some” words. Kate, however, claims that these noise-some words actually come from the “noise-a-matron”…

Circus Carnivore
by Mark Svendsen, illustrated by Ben Redlich

They think when I spurtle noise-some words
That I thought, then chose to say them;
But my words all come from my noise-a-matron—
Say hello to the people who make them.

Noolman there works the liffin bools,
For screeching out my groigles.
While Tubswort toils on the doo-dad machine,
That stamps my niggly foibles.

Toodle-Um and Niddy-no-not
Both hurl my un-thunk oigles.
And not forgetting our Icabod,
Who turns the winsome toodle-sod
That makes my noise-some noises.

You want to know where they live, these sods?
They live beside my temper grods,
inside my think-some noodle.
And they make whatever noise they choose
To show the world I’ve got the blues,
whenever I won’t be goodle!

Unfortunately for Kate, her parents (referred to in the book as the Dullundrears) have had enough of her being “roodle,” so they “packed her up”  and “threw her away.” Icabod and his gang were sad but they had an idea…

Then Icabod, that quietish dear,
He clears his throat and sproigles,

The circus, you know,
I’ve always loved
To do it me heart has ever rubbed
With tricks and stunts TA-DAS! TA-DUMS!
And the crowd all shhhhhhhhhhhhh
then NOISAL!

And so the noise-a-matron crew decided that they needed to change their names and ways. And while they would still make noise-some noises, they didn’t want to be roodles, so they came up with the Circus Carnivore!

O tiddle me wink!
O chuckle guffaw!
O winslowing whoopie!
O gigglish more!

You may think when I spurtle JOY-SOME words
That I laughed, then chose to say them;
But my words are made in the
Where they teeter and trip
and acts up more,
With tricks and stunts
and laughs galore—
say hello to the people who’ve made them!

Our next featured poem is written by visionary director Tim Burton. Tim Burton’s Vincent was made into a short film. It was Tim Burton’s first stop-motion black-and-white animated film, dedicated to and narrated by his ‘hero’ Vincent Price himself. If you haven’t read this poem yet, then you’re in for a treat. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy the video that goes with it. 🙂

by Tim Burton

Vincent Malloy is seven years old,
He’s always polite and does what he’s told.
For a boy his age he’s considerate and nice,
But he wants to be just like Vincent Price.

He doesn’t mind living with his sister, dogs and cats,
Though he’d rather share a home with spiders and bats.
There he could reflect on the horrors he’s invented,
And wander dark hallways alone and tormented.

Vincent is nice when his aunt comes to see him,
But imagines dipping her in wax for his wax museum.

He likes to experiment on his dog Abercrombie,
In the hopes of creating a horrible zombie.
So he and his horrible zombie dog,
Could go searching for victims in the London fog.

His thoughts aren’t only of ghoulish crime,
He likes to paint and read to pass the time.
While other kids read books like Go Jane Go,
Vincent’s favorite author is Edgar Allan Poe.

One night while reading a gruesome tale,
He read a passage that made him turn pale.

Such horrible news he could not survive,
For his beautiful wife had been buried alive.
He dug out her grave to make sure she was dead,
Unaware that her grave was his mother’s flower bed.

His mother sent Vincent off to his room,
He knew he’d been banished to the tower of doom.
Where he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life,
Alone with a portrait of his beautiful wife.

While alone and insane, encased in his tomb,
Vincent’s mother suddenly burst into the room.
She said: “If you want to you can go outside and play.
It’s sunny outside and a beautiful day.”

Vincent tried to talk, but he just couldn’t speak,
The years of isolation had made him quite weak.
So he took out some paper, and scrawled with a pen:
“I am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again.”
His mother said: “You’re not possessed, and you’re not almost dead.
These games that you play are all in your head.
You’re not Vincent Price, you’re Vincent Malloy.
You’re not tormented or insane, you’re just a young boy.”
“You’re seven years old, and you’re my son,
I want you to get outside and have some real fun.”

Her anger now spent, she walked out through the hall,
While Vincent backed slowly against the wall.
The room started to sway, to shiver and creak.
His horrid insanity had reached its peak.

He saw Abercrombie his zombie slave,
And heard his wife call from beyond the grave.
She spoke from her coffin, and made ghoulish demands.
While, through cracking walls, reached skeleton hands.

Every horror in his life that had crept through his dreams,
Swept his mad laugh to terrified screams.
To escape the madness, he reached for the door,
But fell limp and lifeless down on the floor.

His voice was soft and very slow,
As he quoted The Raven from Edgar Allan Poe,

“and my soul from out that shadow
that lies floating on the floor,
shall be lifted?

Happy birthday Ma’am Myra!!
This video is for you! 

Picture Book Challenge Update: 34 of 120

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

16 comments on “Poetry Friday Double Feature: A Mark Svendsen/Tim Burton Special

  1. Pingback: A Versified Birthday: Poetry Friday Round Up «

  2. Happy Birthday Myra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • There should be a “like” button somewhere, for this definitely needs a thumbs up. 🙂


  3. I wish I could write you a poem but I’m horrible at it. However I’m an excellent birthday greeter. Happy Birthday! And many more to come! 😀


  4. Thank you Fats! I love both but the Svendsen especially. “O tiddley me wink”-clever wording. I know students would love it. And thanks for the Burton too; I am not familiar with this at all. And I’m excited you love clouds too as you said in the comment on my post. So fun to hear all you’ve done!


    • Hello Linda!! Took me ages to reply to this post. I do appreciate the comments. 🙂 Mark Svendsen is a new discovery for me, and I’m definitely interested in reading more about his works. The line that you mentioned is probably my favorite part in the book. Playful words and playful art. 🙂

      Clouds are truly amazing. Maybe one of these days, I shall post them here on Gathering Books. Be on the lookout for that. 🙂


  5. Probably safe to say no one else has received a birthday present quite like this before… Kudos for creativity, Fats! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY again, Myra! Now, Mother’s orders from the above: “Get outside and have some real fun!” ;0)


    • Hi Robyn!! Thank you for the awesome words!! 🙂 Myra deserves only the best. 🙂


    • Hi Sally!! Nice to see you hear. Thank you for stopping by and sharing the poem. 🙂


  6. sallyito

    Hi, Sally here with PaperTigers in with a post on poetry for tsunami survivors in Japan:

    And Happy Birthday!


  7. Thanks dearest baby girl, and thanks everyone for the well wishes! 🙂 Tim Burton is Love. 🙂


  8. Pingback: List of Circus, Carnivale, Paranormal Themed Books for All Ages «

  9. Pingback: BHE (19): Singapore Library Warehouse Sale 2012 «

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