Tuesday, July 1, 2014


In July I'll take a peep
Into the cool and fishy deep
Where chicken soup is selling cheap
Selling once, selling twice
Selling chicken soup with rice

This is the July stanza from Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice. I first heard this poem when my granddaughter Mollie came home from school reciting the September stanza, all the while undulating her arms like an Egyptian belly dancer and telling us about a crocodile going “down the chicken soup-y Nile”. Her body language and recitation were hilarious.

Each month they learned a new stanza, though I don’t know what happened for June through August. By that time it was old hat. But since then, Chicken Soup With Rice has become my second-favorite nonsense poem. Jabberwocky is first, of course.  So for a while, on the chicken soup-y Nile, I’ll send along that month’s stanza.  Be sure to memorize them all – there will be a “quickie quiz” later on. 

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