Monday, February 18, 2008

the sugarplum tree

i remembered something tonight after watching a movie. i was on the hunt for this book that my grandma used to read to me all the time when i was little. it was called the tall book of poems. i used to have this website bookmarked on my old computer but i don't have the computer anymore because it crapped out and died. anyway, the website had 2 copies of it. they were pretty expensive and every year around tax time i said i was going to buy it and then i never did because the debt won out and i paid my stupid bills.

watching the movie though i realized how important something as simple as a book can be. i loved curling up in the fluffed up feather bed in my grandma's house. getting warm and snuggly under the covers. lights low for sleepytime. she would get into bed next to me and read me the pokey little puppy and the ugly duckling. she would read me my favorite poem from the tall book of poems called the sugarplum tree and as she did i would drift off into a place where everything was colorful and wonderful. i can still hear her soft voice reading the poem just like she did every single time, emphasizing the cho-co-late cat. then when she finished she would read me the sleepytime book and i never made it through page 3 of that book. i *hated* when that book was next because i knew i was going to fall asleep. but the sugarplum tree has always been my favorite poem. here it is for your enjoyment...

The Sugarplum Tree
(By Eugene Fields)

Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
"Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.

When you've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below-
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:

You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground-
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

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