by Hilaire Belloc [1870-1953]
The Microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen--
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so...
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!
The last two lines of this poem are quoted by Gene Wilder in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). Even though I'm pretty sure the whole cast and crew were on drugs when it was filmed, I love that weird old movie; the book is even more strange.
I love that the Wilder's lines, as written by screenwriter David Seltzer, are just packed with poetry, which was fun for both the adults and the kids. I can't think of another non-poetic movie that uses so much poetry, can you?
Poetry Friday today is hosted at Charlotte's Library, hope you drop in and join in the fun.