August Rain: Morose Mother Goose

Nursery rhymes are often our first introductions to poetry. You’d be hard-pressed to find a youngster who was unaware of Jack’s broken crown, the shoe-dwelling woman with more children than the Duggars, or everyone’s favorite fall-on-your-bum game, “ring around the rosie.”

But despite the sing-song rhythms and lyrical use of end rhyme, many of Mother Goose’s hymns mask dark underpinnings. For instance, historians believe that Jack and Jill are folk-references to King Louis XVI (who lost his crown by beheading) and Marie Antoinette (who came tumbling  down shortly thereafter). And those rings around the rosies? A reference to bubonic boils that eventually laid waste to Europe…

Continue reading, and check out a nursery rhyme I composed at Tweetspeak.

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