Friday, November 11, 2011

Poetry Friday: Elevenses and A.A. Milne

Pooh Bear Gets Stuck and Is Used as a Towel Rack (Illus. by Ernest Shepard)

In honor of 11/11/11, I offer up this poem by A.A. Milne who once wrote: "“When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.” (He went on to tell us how Pooh Bear, while having some smackeral-ish treats for his elevenses at Rabbit's house, gets stuck trying to climb out the front door hole and is used, for a time, as a towel rack.)

Speaking of smackerals, here's one of my favorite poems by Milne:

The King's Breakfast
        The King asked
        The Queen, and
        The Queen asked
        The Dairymaid:
        "Could we have some butter for
        The Royal slice of bread?"
        The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
        The Dairymaid
        Said, "Certainly,
        I'll go and tell the cow
        Before she goes to bed."

        The Dairymaid
        She curtsied,

        And went and told the Alderney:
        "Don't forget the butter for
        The Royal slice of bread."
        The Alderney said sleepily:
        "You'd better tell
        His Majesty
        That many people nowadays
        Like marmalade

        The Dairymaid
        Said "Fancy!"
        And went to
        Her Majesty.
        She curtsied to the Queen, and
        She turned a little red:
        "Excuse me,
        Your Majesty,
        For taking of
        The liberty,
        But marmalade is tasty, if
        It's very
[picture]         The Queen said
        And went to his Majesty:
        "Talking of the butter for
        The royal slice of bread,
        Many people
        Think that
        Is nicer.
        Would you like to try a little

        The King said,
        And then he said,
        "Oh, deary me!"
        The King sobbed, "Oh, deary me!"
        And went back to bed.
        He whimpered,
        "Could call me
        A fussy man;
        I only want
        A little bit
        Of butter for
        My bread!"

        The Queen said,
        "There, there!"
        And went to
        The Dairymaid.
        The Dairymaid
        Said, "There, there!"
        And went to the shed.
        The cow said,
        "There, there!
        I didn't really
        Mean it;
        Here's milk for his porringer
        And butter for his bread."
        The queen took the butter
        And brought it to
        His Majesty.
        The King said
        "Butter, eh?"
        And bounced out of bed.
        "Nobody," he said,
        As he kissed her
        "Nobody," he said,
        As he slid down
        The banisters,
        My darling,
        Could call me
        A fussy man -
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"

This week's Poetry Friday round-up  is being hosted by April Halprin Wayland over at Teaching Authors. Head  there to see what other people have posted. And Happy Elevenses, Everyone!


  1. That's one of my favorite A. A. Milne poems, too, and I love so many of them. My very favorite is "Disobedience."

  2. I must have read this poem several hundred times when I was a kid. Thanks for taking me back. And you even included illustrations!

  3. Hi, Julie. There's a clip of the Muppet Show, with Twiggy (and Muppets) performing this poem. I hope you can find it on youtube!

  4. Yum! Love this poem, and Milne, and Pooh, and elevenses -- a brilliant idea if I do say so myself. :)

  5. I love the connection to the elevenes. Thanks for sharing The King's Breakfast"

  6. LOVE this one so much. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Such a perfect post for today! Thanks for sharing. And now I have those buttered words dancing in my head....

  8. We had such fun with the 11s yesterday...if only I had read this sooner; I could have taken a snack for my students to have for elevenses!

  9. Absolutely no fuss, just a teensy weeny request for butter, how difficult could that be? Loved it! :)

    PS: the illustrations are lovely too

  10. Julie,

    I so enjoyed reading all the Winnie the Pooh books to my second grade students. This poem brings back fond memories.

  11. Oh I adore this poem. Ruth, I love Disobedience as well, and also Bad Sir Brian Botany, and Market Square, and The Four Friends. I am hopelessly smitten with the entire collection, in fact and have been for years!

  12. No elevensies? There, there.

    I love this, too.

  13. Speaking of Happy Elevenses, I just wanted to mention that our local pet shelter had a special 11/11 event and let people get pets for only $11.11.

    There were long lines. It was an unprecedented success. 250 formerly homeless pets (many surrendered because of the bad economy) went home with owners!