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?
'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

  • Rookie - 242 Points Awesome Nick (2/22/2017 4:27:00 PM)

    Definitional and non summary (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 50,635 Points Bri Edwards (2/17/2017 6:16:00 PM)

    A dozen eyeballs on the floor. .............those were probably the snacks that fell from a tipped bowl on the coffee table. a good laugh here. and i think it was fine to not end with a rhyme this time; probably better.

    They don't climb out the window sill, ......i make suggestions to (a) live poets; why not dead ones! ? ................
    ..........................don't you think o'er (for over) would be a wee bit better than out? ? just askin'. no need to respond.

    i think the author forgot to click off the caps lock key on his keyboard! besides, he wanted to sell books, probably, so of course he would dis*** TV viewing! i bet the poet never watched Captain Kangaroo or I Love Lucy. you know, the educational shows i grew up with!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    *** dis
    verb: diss

    speak disrespectfully to or criticize.
    I don't like her dissing my friends

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    That nauseating, foul, unclean,
    Repulsive television screen! ............ok, Roald (what kind of name is that?) , tell us what you really think about...................................................................................TV!

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    my offering to R. Dahl, et al:

    Before TV, Before Books …..[inspired by Roald Dahl’s poem “Television”; thanks to Rod Mendieta; human development; spare time; medium length; anthropology]

    Before children had books OR TV,
    what DID they do? Now you'll see.

    They hunted, or were carried....
    by their moms who dug up buried...
    tubers and grubs which she could find.
    There were no French fries; they did not mind.

    They played, in all their nakedness, with dogs;
    they practiced walking atop long, fallen logs;
    they lived in Nature, as close as could be done,
    and thought a lot, while at their work or their fun.

    They made up stories to explain what they did see,
    Including the clouds, the beasts, and each living tree.
    They scanned the skies with wide eyes day and night,
    Inventing “constellation” images among the stars bright.

    They did all sorts of things, many of them with great zeal.
    AND, when they were bored, they invented “Writing” and…….
    “the Wheel”.

    (February 17, 2017)

    bri ;)

    Roald's to MyPoemList. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,336 Points Sylva-onyema Uba (1/26/2017 11:44:00 AM)

    A well punctuated poem. nice piece!

    Sylva-Onyema Uba. (Report) Reply

Read all 195 comments »

Poems About Television

  1. 1. Television , Roald Dahl
  2. 2. To Television , Robert Pinsky
  3. 3. Little Black Box Called Television! , Sylvia Chidi
  4. 4. Television Addiction , Dr Hitesh Sheth
  5. 5. Television (Senryu) , Kelly Kurt
  6. 6. Ode To Television Or Why This Isn'T The .. , Nadalia Bagratuni
  7. 7. Television , Wayne Leon Learmond
  8. 8. Top This Television Moment , Jeffrey SpahrSummers
  9. 9. Television , Baidurya Mukherjee
  10. 10. A Soulful Song For The Black And White T.. , Sachin Ketkar
  11. 11. Television And Watches 412b , DAVID GERARDINO
  12. 12. Analogue Television , Diane Hine
  13. 13. Before Tv, Before Books …..[inspired By.. , Bri Edwards
  14. 14. She Saw A Man On Television , Sophia White
  15. 15. Those Television Channels , Indira Renganathan
  16. 16. Television , Paul Butters
  17. 17. Television- The Idiot Box , hariharans sundaram
  18. 18. I Started Watching Television Again , Denis Kucharski
  19. 19. Without Television , Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
  20. 20. This Damn Television , Randy Johnson
  21. 21. Television Survival Drama , Bill Grace
  22. 22. The Anti 24 Hour Television Program From.. , Maria Sudibyo
  23. 23. The Glow Of The Fading Evening's Televis.. , Robert Rorabeck
  24. 24. Vision Or Television , Ray Lucero
  25. 25. Cable Television , Theresa Ann Moore
  26. 26. Television Footage , Theorem The Truth Serum
  27. 27. Mother Teresa (13) The Television Interv.. , Rajaram Ramachandran
  28. 28. Mubarak’s Television Speech Orders Coded.. , Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  29. 29. Family Watching Television , Justin Reamer
  30. 30. Television Shows , Hasmukh Amathalal
  31. 31. Listening To The Radio And Television , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  32. 32. Hebrews 10: 24-25 & Television Ministries , Luke Easter
  33. 33. Television Takes Control , Paula Glynn
  34. 34. Small Television , Naveed Akram
  35. 35. Both Film And Television, The Great Star , Luo Zhihai
  36. 36. Television , chandra thiagarajan
  37. 37. Religious Television , Michael P. Johnson
  38. 38. The Spider Behind The Television , Paula Glynn
  39. 39. Like Television , Hasmukh Amathalal
  40. 40. Television Is Not Your Friend (Television) , R.K. Cowles
  41. 41. Promiseland Television Network Or (Mike).. , Joe Rosochacki
  42. 42. Television , Gary Diamond
  43. 43. Alone In The Darkness, Watching Televisi.. , Gus Schreiber
  44. 44. Wife Who Smashed Television Gets Jail , Paul Durcan
  45. 45. Television , Shaun William Hayes
  46. 46. Television , Pierre Rausch
  47. 47. Television , Ilania Cyaalá
  48. 48. Living In A Television , anteaus berryhill
  49. 49. Television , smriti chhibber
  50. 50. Television , KAUSHAL SABOO
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