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 - 147 Points Laura Marie Clark (4/29/2016 10:39:00 AM)

    One of my favourites from my childhood. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 53 Points Melissa Melo García (4/25/2016 11:44:00 PM)

    I just love this poem, and more important now on 2016, kids that dont even know how to walk or talk but they perfectly know how to used the idiotic machine, machines, is awful, but this poem is perfection (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,359 Points Leah Ross (4/17/2016 11:31:00 PM)

    so very true glad we don't have Tv & live off the grid (Report) Reply

Read all 173 comments »

Poems About Television

  1. 1. Television , Roald Dahl
  2. 2. To Television , Robert Pinsky
  3. 3. Jimmy Jet And His Tv Set , Shel Silverstein
  4. 4. My Pig Won't Let Me Watch TV , Kenn Nesbitt
  5. 5. "Mike Teavee..." , Roald Dahl
  6. 6. Evolution , Sherman Alexie
  7. 7. The Chipmunk , Ogden Nash
  8. 8. A Bit O' Fun! , Fay Slimm
  9. 9. For The Country , Philip Levine
  10. 10. Little Black Box Called Television! , Sylvia Chidi
  11. 11. - Me Telly's On The Blink: : Humour , Alessandra Liverani
  12. 12. - We Didn'T! : : Humour , Alessandra Liverani
  13. 13. (09) - Domestic Interlude , James Grengs
  14. 14. That Old Fashioned Thing - A Ballad In F.. , Mystic Indian
  15. 15. Father's Pants , David Kowalczyk
  16. 16. A Guiding Light Is No More , Joe Rosochacki
  17. 17. Television , Wayne Leon Learmond
  18. 18. Dear My Lovely Beauty Princess 3 , Ali Sabry
  19. 19. Electronic Support , Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie
  20. 20. The Flip Side , neo riddick
  21. 21. 1966 (A Monologue) , David Barlow
  22. 22. Big Pang , jonathan Juarez
  23. 23. Y/ Tuning In , Aufie Zophy
  24. 24. Television , Baidurya Mukherjee
  25. 25. Into Homelessness , lovita j r morang
  26. 26. No Flies On Yoko , Ted Sheridan
  27. 27. Take It While You Can.. , DAVID GERARDINO
  28. 28. Don'T Let Me Be Lonely , Claudia Rankine
  29. 29. Coming Home , Lori Messenger
  30. 30. Dirty Old Fire , Lindsay Crosby
  31. 31. - Dear My Lovely Beauty Princess3- , Ali Sabry
  32. 32. Peaceful Silence , Theresa Ann Moore
  33. 33. My Dreams , Christa Rhodes
  34. 34. Can'T Escape The Cooking , Reshma Ramesh
  35. 35. Kanchivaram Silk Saree , lovita j r morang
  36. 36. Emptiness , Christine E. Maylath
  37. 37. Her Laundry List , Ted Sheridan
  38. 38. She Saw A Man On Television , Sophia White
  39. 39. Leave The T.V. Off , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  40. 40. Will John Key Resign: A Snowflakes Chanc.. , Terence George Craddock (aft ..
  41. 41. Friday Night , Leah Ayliffe
  42. 42. Ike Receives His Last Salute , Bill Grace
  43. 43. Oil Could Reach $500.00 A Barrel And Dea.. , Ted Sheridan
  44. 44. Time Is Not Ours , RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  45. 45. The 'Poem A Day' Project - Day 25 , Flying Lemming
  46. 46. Technology's Light , Satan's Sibling
  47. 47. The Wonderful World Of T.V. Commercials , Dave Tanguay
  48. 48. The Days I Let Slip Away , Beth Ann
  49. 49. In The Wake Of Technology , Donal Mahoney
  50. 50. Charlie Rose Has A Chuckle , Bill Grace
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