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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

  • Rookie Barbara Miller (7/10/2018 9:14:00 AM)

    It is much worse now that we can watch videos over and over. Children memorize every word and talk incessantly about videos. What are they filling their souls with? Commercial material designed not with their well-being in mind but to turn them into consumers. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Alpesh Yadav (7/8/2018 12:13:00 AM)

    Wonderful (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jesica Anthony (6/29/2018 5:43:00 AM)

    Nice poem (Report) Reply

Read all 303 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. Television , Baidurya Mukherjee
  9. 9. Top This Television Moment , Jeffrey SpahrSummers
  10. 10. Before Tv, Before Books …..[inspired By.. , Bri Edwards
  11. 11. A Soulful Song For The Black And White T.. , Sachin Ketkar
  12. 12. Analogue Television , Diane Hine
  13. 13. Television And Watches 412b , DAVID GERARDINO
  14. 14. Those Television Channels , Indira Renganathan
  15. 15. Television , Paul Butters
  16. 16. Television- The Idiot Box , hariharans sundaram
  17. 17. Mother Teresa (13) The Television Interv.. , Rajaram Ramachandran
  18. 18. Mubarak’s Television Speech Orders Coded.. , Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  19. 19. Television , chandra thiagarajan
  20. 20. Television Shows , Hasmukhlal Amathalallal
  21. 21. Listening To The Radio And Television , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  22. 22. Hebrews 10: 24-25 & Television Ministries , Luke Easter
  23. 23. Television Takes Control , Paula Glynn
  24. 24. Small Television , Naveed Akram
  25. 25. Vision Or Television , Ray Lucero
  26. 26. Cable Television , Theresa Ann Moore
  27. 27. This Damn Television , Randy Johnson
  28. 28. Television Survival Drama , Bill Grace
  29. 29. The Anti 24 Hour Television Program From.. , Maria Sudibyo
  30. 30. The Glow Of The Fading Evening's Televis.. , Robert Rorabeck
  31. 31. Television - Hot Rod Shows , Paul Warren
  32. 32. Modern Television , Paul Warren
  33. 33. Television - Doctor Who , Paul Warren
  34. 34. Television Westerns , Paul Warren
  35. 35. Anchorman Of Television , Bernard F. Asuncion
  36. 36. Religious Television , Michael P. Johnson
  37. 37. The Spider Behind The Television , Paula Glynn
  38. 38. Both Film And Television, The Great Star , Luo Zhihai
  39. 39. Like Television , Hasmukhlal Amathalallal
  40. 40. She Saw A Man On Television , Sophia White
  41. 41. Television Is Not Your Friend (Television) , R.K. Cowles
  42. 42. I Started Watching Television Again , Denis Kucharski
  43. 43. Television , Gary Diamond
  44. 44. Alone In The Darkness, Watching Televisi.. , Gus Schreiber
  45. 45. Television , Shaun William Hayes
  46. 46. Television , Pierre Rausch
  47. 47. Television , Ilania Cyaalá
  48. 48. Promiseland Television Network Or (Mike).. , Joe Rosochacki
  49. 49. Living In A Television , anteaus berryhill
  50. 50. Television , smriti chhibber
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