Had a lot of fun illustrating these two poems in the past week for School Magazine
. Both are quite clever in different ways. 'The Quarrel' by Eleanor Farjeon
is a poem about two stubborn brothers who have a really good argument over something that is long forgotten. The line that stood out for me was, 'the afternoon turned black' and I used this as the central idea for the illustration.
The other poem was very different. So many nonsensical elements which is generally the case in a Spike Milligan
poem. I'm a huge fan of his brand of wackiness so illustrating 'On The Ning Nang Nong' was a nice challenge for me. I did my best to be as equally silly but it's a tough act to follow. Spike's just too damn crazy. At the very least I captured some of the poem's pervading madness. Hopefully.
Both illustrations were done primarily with collage. It's such a fantastically diverse medium. Over the years I have amassed a large collection of painted tissue papers, pattered art papers, interesting washes, old books, postcards & ads that I can use. It's a lot of fun working out what should go where.
Anyhoo, better get back to it I guess. Stay well peoples.
I once wrote a post on the poem “On the Ning Nang Nong” by Spike Milligan.Â That poem has never left my mind and since then I have happily acquired more wonderful poetry by Spike Milligan in the form of a ‘collected’ called A Children’s Treasury of Milligan.Â Ever his whimsical self, Milligan purports that the collection is a result of a search for six of his childrens’ titles that were supposedly found in various locations like a haddock-stretching factory and a dead whale in Newfoundland among other outlandish places.Â Â But seriously folks, this collection does indeed draw from Milligan’s previous works for children that include such classics as Unspun Socks from a Chicken’s Laundry and Silly Verse for Kids.
Milligan is particularly good with animals.Â Indeed, one of his six books is titled A Book of Milliganimals.Â This section is not just confined to word-play on the theme of animals but also has some great illustrations done by Milligan himself.Â There is, for example, the rouge-colored “Strawberry Moose” and the “Three-legged Hippo” which is a rendering of the animal with three legs, of course, from different perspectives, one of which includes a “rare back view.”Â And of course, there is lots of silly verse such as:
Tiger, Tiger Burning etc
Tigers travel stealthily
Using, first, legs one and three.
They alternate with two and four;
And, after that, there are no more.
As well as Milligan’s verse, the collection contains two stories — “The Bald Twit Lion” and “Sir Nobonk and the terrible, awful, dreadful, naughty, nasty Dragon” which make good counterpoint to the poetry.Â Â With all this wonderful material, this book can easily entertain parent and child for many a bedtime read, as my daughter and I are discovering.
This week’s Poetry Friday host is Becky’s Book Reviews…