“oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”

well, people, now you know where i get my inspiration from: idle 14th century poets and 1st grade readers!

because today i want to tell you about one of my heroes – dr. seuss: a fabulous poet, a man with passionate convictions, and a great painter. yes, he wrote children’s books. but his imagination and insight reach far, far beyond first graders (not that i mean to slight any first graders – there’s a thing or two they can teach us adults, or “obsolete children” as dr. seuss once called grown-ups).

have you ever read the lorax? even this retelling of it on wikipedia, without the poetry and without the evocative illustrations, brings tears to my eyes. it is the story of an old, lonely man who once waltzed into a small town, beautiful with trees, rivers, birds and fish, and who destroyed all of that by not listening to the voice that speaks for the environment. only, a tiny, tiny seed of hope remains …

dr. seuss, like many great artists, plays with paradox and layers and layers of meaning. and on the topic of meaning, he himself is paradoxical, too. while it is abundantly obvious that at least some of his pieces, like the lorax or yertle the turtle (and of course his political cartoons), carry strong messages about society, he has also been quoted as saying, “preachers in pulpits talked about what a great message is in [dr. seuss’s books]. no matter what you do, somebody always imputes meaning into your books.”

so rather than analyzing more of his work, i’ll just present some of it here to you, for you to make your own sense or nonsense of it. (and that in itself is a political statement of sorts, isn’t it? isn’t that what democracy is all about, letting people make up their own minds?)

there are troubles of more than one kind. some come from ahead and some come from behind. but i’ve bought a big bat. i’m all ready you see. now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

you have brains in your head. you have feet in your shoes. you can steer yourself in any direction you choose. .

and you know what you know. you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

think left and think right and think low and think high. oh, the things you can think up if only you try!

if you never did you should. these things are fun and fun is good

unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. it’s not.

my alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz. it’s the letter i use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz. you’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond ‘z’ and start poking around!

shorth is better than length.

and the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free- as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.

isabella mori
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