Freddy Poetry Slam

Among his many other accomplishments, Freddy was an accomplished poet and his poems may be found in The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig. They also appear throughout the novels and have inspired many imitations by both the members of the Friends of Freddy and other characters in the books. Notable among these is Mrs. Peppercorn who sought to help Freddy with his poetry in Freddy and the Spaceship by composing the following verses:

“Some stars are large and some are small,
And some are quite invisiball.”


“The light from some far distant stars
Does not reach earth for yars and yars.”

A more thoughtful commentary on Freddy’s poetry was offered by the screech owl, Uncle Solomon, in what might be termed a “poetry slam,” found in Freddy Plays Football:

“[Freddy] began hastily to recite,

‘Through the night, through the dark, through
the rain and sleet,
By hill and valley and plain,
Plods the wanderer pig, on weary feet—’

‘And his poetry gives me a pain,’ interrupted Uncle Solomon, from his lookout on a branch above the pool.

‘Oh, keep still!’ said Freddy.

‘And his tears they drip like rain,’ he concluded.

‘Personally,’ said Uncle Solomon. ‘I prefer my version. It avoids the use of the word ‘they,’ which is unnecessary, and it is more solidly constructed. However, as you were no doubt about to point out, it is a criticism of your poem, which, just as it is, heaven knows, is at the moment out of place. H’m, let me see. How’s this? “The pig with the infantile brain.” More descriptive. I assume, of course, that it is yourself whom you are describing and not some other pig, to whom it might not apply.’

. . . Freddy shrugged and went on,

‘And he sighs, and he moans, and his head bends low,
And his tail has come uncurled,
Fore he has neither mansion nor bungalow—
Not a home in the whole wide world.’

‘Got you that time!’ he said with a triumphant glance at the owl, who evidently hadn’t been able to think of a rhyme quick enough.

‘Not a home, not a friend, no uncles or aunts,
No brothers or sisters or cousins—’

‘Not a coat, not a vest, not a pair of pants,’ said Uncle Solomon.

‘Okay, you’re so smart; finish it,’ said Freddy.

‘I merely suggest,’ said the owl, ‘I do not complete. I know quite well that there is only one correct rhyme to ‘cousins’. It is ‘dozens.’

Freddy expressed surprise. ‘I didn’t know you knew so much about poetry.’

‘I know a great deal about words. It is not the same thing. However, proceed.’

Freddy went on.

‘Though happier pigs, as they sing and dance,
Have relatives by dozens,’

‘Personally,’ said the owl, ‘I have not found that a multiplicity of relatives is conducive to gaiety. But continue.’

‘For others, the lights in the windowes gleam,
For others, the fried eggs sputter;

‘For the pig, all puffed up with self-esteem,
A roll in the muddy gutter.’

And Uncle Solomon gave his dry little titter. ‘Rather neat, I think. Your mention of food suggested the roll though in general I consider puns rather vulgar.’

From Freddy Plays Football, by Walter R. Brooks