Television Poems - Poems For Television

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Television - Poem by Roald Dahl

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.


Comments about Television by Roald Dahl

  • Gold Star - 4,735 Points Ernest Makuakua (2/1/2016 9:35:00 AM)

    wow nice beautiful piece very educating and powerful poem.

    thanks for sharing im inspired (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,017 Points Khaoula Basty (12/20/2015 12:21:00 PM)

    lovely and interesting poem (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,234 Points John Crowe (12/16/2015 5:00:00 PM)

    The computer did more to kill books than TV did. (Report) Reply

Read all 166 comments »

Poems About Television

  1. 1. Television , Roald Dahl
  2. 2. To Television , Robert Pinsky
  3. 3. Jimmy Jet And His Tv Set , Shel Silverstein
  4. 4. My Pig Won't Let Me Watch TV , Kenn Nesbitt
  5. 5. "Mike Teavee..." , Roald Dahl
  6. 6. Evolution , Sherman Alexie
  7. 7. The Chipmunk , Ogden Nash
  8. 8. A Bit O' Fun! , Fay Slimm
  9. 9. For The Country , Philip Levine
  10. 10. Little Black Box Called Television! , Sylvia Chidi
  11. 11. - Me Telly's On The Blink: : Humour , Alessandra Liverani
  12. 12. - We Didn'T! : : Humour , Alessandra Liverani
  13. 13. (09) - Domestic Interlude , James Grengs
  14. 14. That Old Fashioned Thing - A Ballad In F.. , Mystic Indian
  15. 15. Father's Pants , David Kowalczyk
  16. 16. A Guiding Light Is No More , Joe Rosochacki
  17. 17. Generation Deaf , Melissa Coventry
  18. 18. 1977 , Jeffrey McDaniel
  19. 19. Television , Wayne Leon Learmond
  20. 20. Dear My Lovely Beauty Princess 3 , Ali Sabry
  21. 21. Electronic Support , Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie
  22. 22. The Flip Side , neo riddick
  23. 23. 1966 (A Monologue) , David Barlow
  24. 24. Big Pang , jonathan Juarez
  25. 25. Y/ Tuning In , Aufie Zophy
  26. 26. Television , Baidurya Mukherjee
  27. 27. Into Homelessness , lovita j r morang
  28. 28. No Flies On Yoko , Ted Sheridan
  29. 29. Take It While You Can.. , DAVID GERARDINO
  30. 30. Coming Home , Lori Messenger
  31. 31. Dirty Old Fire , Lindsay Crosby
  32. 32. Peaceful Silence , Theresa Ann Moore
  33. 33. In The Beginning, There Was You, Me And .. , Gene Pinter
  34. 34. My Dreams , Christa Rhodes
  35. 35. Little Boy World , Chris G. Vaillancourt
  36. 36. Sheeple , Chris G. Vaillancourt
  37. 37. Can'T Escape The Cooking , Reshma Ramesh
  38. 38. - Dear My Lovely Beauty Princess3- , Ali Sabry
  39. 39. Kanchivaram Silk Saree , lovita j r morang
  40. 40. Emptiness , Christine E. Maylath
  41. 41. Her Laundry List , Ted Sheridan
  42. 42. She Saw A Man On Television , Sophia White
  43. 43. Leave The T.V. Off , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  44. 44. Will John Key Resign: A Snowflakes Chanc.. , Terence George Craddock (aft ..
  45. 45. Between , Ballerina With Fins
  46. 46. Friday Night , Leah Ayliffe
  47. 47. Ike Receives His Last Salute , Bill Grace
  48. 48. Oil Could Reach $500.00 A Barrel And Dea.. , Ted Sheridan
  49. 49. Time Is Not Ours , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  50. 50. The 'Poem A Day' Project - Day 25 , Flying Lemming
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