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

  • Rookie - 213 Points Michelle Robertson (1/7/2018 6:33:00 PM)

    I AGREE! All I do is get my children to READ and READ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Thank you! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie Vernon Dursley (1/2/2018 3:52:00 AM)

    Excellent poem; I feel there is slight exaggeration, but that really does make the poem sound as good as it is. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,931 Points Frank Adie (12/20/2017 11:30:00 PM)

    Wonderful! Well crafted, Exceptionally poetic. (Report) Reply

Read all 226 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. Before Tv, Before Books …..[inspired By.. , Bri Edwards
  9. 9. Top This Television Moment , Jeffrey SpahrSummers
  10. 10. Television , Baidurya Mukherjee
  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. She Saw A Man On Television , Sophia White
  15. 15. Those Television Channels , Indira Renganathan
  16. 16. Anchorman Of Television , Bernard F. Asuncion
  17. 17. Television- The Idiot Box , hariharans sundaram
  18. 18. Mother Teresa (13) The Television Interv.. , Rajaram Ramachandran
  19. 19. Mubarak’s Television Speech Orders Coded.. , Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  20. 20. Family Watching Television , Justin Reamer
  21. 21. Television Shows , Hasmukh Amathalal
  22. 22. Listening To The Radio And Television , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  23. 23. Hebrews 10: 24-25 & Television Ministries , Luke Easter
  24. 24. Television Takes Control , Paula Glynn
  25. 25. Small Television , Naveed Akram
  26. 26. Vision Or Television , Ray Lucero
  27. 27. Cable Television , Theresa Ann Moore
  28. 28. Television Footage , Theorem The Truth Serum
  29. 29. This Damn Television , Randy Johnson
  30. 30. Television Survival Drama , Bill Grace
  31. 31. The Anti 24 Hour Television Program From.. , Maria Sudibyo
  32. 32. The Glow Of The Fading Evening's Televis.. , Robert Rorabeck
  33. 33. Television , chandra thiagarajan
  34. 34. Television - Hot Rod Shows , Paul Warren
  35. 35. Modern Television , Paul Warren
  36. 36. Television - Doctor Who , Paul Warren
  37. 37. Television Westerns , Paul Warren
  38. 38. Religious Television , Michael P. Johnson
  39. 39. The Spider Behind The Television , Paula Glynn
  40. 40. Both Film And Television, The Great Star , Luo Zhihai
  41. 41. Like Television , Hasmukh Amathalal
  42. 42. Television Is Not Your Friend (Television) , R.K. Cowles
  43. 43. I Started Watching Television Again , Denis Kucharski
  44. 44. Television , Gary Diamond
  45. 45. Alone In The Darkness, Watching Televisi.. , Gus Schreiber
  46. 46. Wife Who Smashed Television Gets Jail , Paul Durcan
  47. 47. Television , Shaun William Hayes
  48. 48. Television , Pierre Rausch
  49. 49. Television , Ilania Cyaalá
  50. 50. Television , Paul Butters
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