Friday, 12 October 2012

Very small poem about Edvard Munch

We've been to the Edvard Munch exhibition at Tate Modern. I liked this painting a lot. It's called 'Self-Portrait Between the Clock and the Bed'.

The next day I wrote:

Mr Munch stands between
the bed and the clock.
He can hear the clock go
tick tock tick tock.

I'm very, very tired,
Mr Munch said.
Mr Munch stands between
the clock and the bed.

If you're a teacher and you're reading this  feel free to use this in anyway you like, with or without the painting, pronouncing his name as Norwegians do 'Munk', as if someone from Yorkshire was saying it, or as Munch to rhyme with 'punch' in whatever accent you like!

'Mr Munch' does sound a bit like the Mister Man book that didn't get written, which isn't quite the feeling I had, but hey, I can't control what people do with it.

Purely on its own, without the picture, the poem is a bit like nursery rhyme, isn't it - many of which are fragments of longer songs, like this one about Elsie Marley:

Elsie Marley's grown so fine,
She won't get up to feed the swine,
But lies in bed 'till eight or nine,
And surely she does take her time.

Here's a thought: you could share the poem (and just the poem)  with the children, ask them about Mr Munch. Where does he live? Where does he go shopping? Has he got children? Has he got anything else apart from a clock and a bed? Or is that all he's got? Why's he tired? What's he been doing? When he goes to bed, what will he dream about? What does he remember from when he was a boy?

They could make up their own Mr Munch poems...