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Friday, September 08, 2017

Poetry Friday--Consider the Lemming

Consider the Lemming is a collection of poems by Jeanne Steig that have been illustrated in black and white by William Steig [J 811 STE]. The book was first published in 1988, and the 1988 edition is the one we have on our shelf. The book was reissued in 2016 with a color illustration on the cover, which goes a long way to increasing its appeal.

The book is filled with the Steigs' wry humor, and the poems, with their sophisticated vocabulary, are definitely for the older child! Here's an example:


The Mockingbird

Can any soul remain unstirred
When listening to the mockingbird?
Ofttimes at 2 a.m. he'll start
To pour his imitative heart
Into the wakeful, ravished ear
And sing for hours with monstrous cheer
Cacophonies that he collects,
And comic-opera side effects.
And catcalls, whistles, razzmatazz--
Oh what a repertoire he has!
He is a one-bird cabaret.
Hip hip, Blythe Spirit! Hip Hooray!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up can be found at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme and is hosted by NH's own Matt Forrest Esenwine.


  1. Oh, what fun! I do enjoy listening to a mockingbird show off, but maybe not at 2 in the morning!

  2. I don't know this book, but love the Steigs! This poem, that "one-bird cabaret", is terrific, Diane! Thanks for sharing!

  3. What masterful words and comic illustration, love "razzmatazz" and "one-bird cabaret". What fun.

  4. I love William Steigs art and writing. This poem by Jeanne Steig is wonderful, I can totally relate to it being the night owl I am.