Monday, June 22, 2009

A Midsummer Night’s Lorax

I won’t be the first person to compare Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss.  I just wanted to point out something that clicked in my head the other day and freaked me out a little bit:

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.

At the far end of town where the grickle-grass grows
And the wind smells slow and sour when it blows
And no birds ever sing excepting old crows
Is the street of the Lifted Lorax.
And deep in the grickle-grass some people say
If you look deep enough you can still see today
Where the Lorax once stood, just as long as it could,
Before somebody lifted the Lorax away.


Those sound nearly identical to my ear.  Dr. Seuss was even closer to Shakespeare than I think people realize.

[And for the record, how brilliant is that opening?  It’s my favorite Seuss.  Look at the alliterative work – grass grows…smells slow and sour when it blows…birds ever sing excepting old crows…  I’ve got about half that book memorized.]

1 comment:

Willshill said...

Think he might have read a little Shakespeare? Adaptive genius.
If you like Seuss,I think you'd like Hilaire Belloc. He can be slightly macabre at times--but much is child-appropriate-- his wit is sublime. "The Bad Child's Book of Beasts"-Also, "More Peers"-in which he lampoons British aristocracy-both with illustrations you can find them (htm) at the Gutenberg.