Saturday, October 31, 2015

So Penseroso, as told by a grumpy five-year-old



There's just something about Autumn and the waning of the light and a general chill in the air that makes all my strange grumpiness seem seasonally appropriate. I like these months, 'cause it's like the whole earth wants to just withdraw into itself and hibernate for a while, and not be disturbed. Summer is for extroverts. Autumn and winter? They are for me.

My daughter's an extrovert, but her eagerness to get into character for our third annual Halloween poem truly warmed my heart. In a chilly, curmudgeonly way. My dad used to tell this poem to us when we were little, especially when we started getting sulky.

So Penseroso

Come, megrims, mollygrubs and collywobbles!
Come, gloom that limps and misery that hobbles!
Come also, most exquisite meloncholiage,
As dank and decadent as November foliage!
I crave to shudder in your moist embrace,
To feel your oystery fingers on my face.
This is my hour of sadness and soulfulness,
and cursed be he who dissipates my dolefulness.
I do not desire to be cheered,
I desire to retire, I am thinking of growing a beard.
A sorrowful beard with a mournful, dolorous hue in it,
with ashes and glue in it.
I want to be drunk with despair,
I want to caress my care.
I do not wish to be blithe,
I wish to recoil and writhe.
I will revel in cosmic woe,
and I want my woe to show.
This is the morbid moment,
this is the ebony hour.
Aroint thee, sweetness and light!
I want to be dark and sour!
Away with the bird that twitters!
All that glitters is jitters!
Roses, roses are gray,
Violets cry Boo! and frighten me.
Sugar is stimulating,
and people conspire to brighten me.
Go hence, people, go hence!
Go sit on a picket fence!
Go gargle with mineral oil,
Go out and develop a boil!
Melancholy is what I brag and boast of,
Melancholy I plan to make the most of.
You beaming optimists shall not destroy it,
But while I am at it, I intend to enjoy it.
Go, people, stuff your mouths with soap,
and remember, please, that when I mope, I mope!*

~Ogden Nash

*There are other (slightly longer) versions of So Penseroso floating around, but this is one that I liked.

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