Poet: James Whitcomb Riley
Poem: When the Frost is on the Punkin
Volume: Complete Works
Year: Published/Written in 1916
Poem of the Day:
Oct 30 2009
Comment 8 of 8, added on July 30th, 2010 at 12:41 AM.
Parody: When the Frost is on the Punkin
Having enjoyed Riley's poems throughout my 80 years, and with parents
who grew up on Riley poems in their late-19th century Indiana home, I
couldn't resist writing this parody when I found out what it will cost
to send my grandson to college a year from now. When I went to UCLA
over 60 years ago there was no tuition and my room and board was $36 a
month. The cost at top-flight private colleges for the coming year
ranges from $40-50,000. Almost unbelievable! That's why I felt
compelled to re-write the opening stanza of When the Frost is on the
LAMENT OF A KID GOING OFF TO COLLEGE
[With a little help from James Whitcomb Riley]
WHEN THE COST OF MY TUITION PUT MY FODDER INTO SHOCK
AND THE CHARGES FOR MY TEXTBOOKS MADE HIM WONDER WHAT TO HOCK
FROM THE CONTRACT FOR MY DORM ROOM AND THE FEES FOR BALL POINT PENS
TO THE 'LUMNI BOOSTERS DUNNING OF MYSELF AND FRESHMAN FRIENDS
O, IT'S THEN THE TIME A PARENT IS A-NEEDIN' PEACE AND REST
'MIDST THE RISIN' COST A-LIVIN' AND IT AIN'T ABOUT TO CREST
AS I LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR COLLEGE DAD IS TELLIN' ALL THE BLOCK:
"WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN THAT KID'S GRADES HAD BETTER ROCK."
Ralph E. Shaffer, Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly Pomona
from United States
Comment 7 of 8, added on February 26th, 2006 at 12:56 AM.
This poem is my first experience of poetry. Raised in Indiana, we had a class on Indiana History at the school. This man has had a profound effect on my life. His music with words have stayed with me and helped me to have an open and questioning insight into the world as I experience it. His apparent simplicity masks a rich and powerful understanding of the nature of life.
Comment 6 of 8, added on February 15th, 2006 at 11:20 PM.
this my favorite poem of james because its silly and funny but it also has a meaning to it some of us may not realize it but this poem may have meaning no matter what kind of personality me or you or others may have so when the frost is on the punkin remember james whitcomb riley for him and not what people write or do or say to find the truth find someone or colide facts from other writers.
trisha from United States
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