Jelly Guts Rule

The book, we’ve been apprised, is most uncool—
Young Marco and the farmer by the pool,
Wits locked in friendly if serious duel,
And Marco sends the farmer off to school.

One Dr. Seuss, its author, we’ll allow,
Here glorified in clever rhyme (and how!)
Imaginative fantasy; but now
The book will raise a most suspicious a brow.

To clarify, for any unaware,
This favorite of old depicts the pair
(The farmer and our Marco) both as fair—
White, in a word!—it’s just too much to bear.

But Marco and the farmer aren’t alone.
We see Mrs. Umbroso, too, is shown
Likewise Caucasian! In fact, Seuss is prone
To drawing people all so pale of tone.

There are exceptions, though—and here the man
As far strays from propriety as can
An illustrator. We must roundly pan
Much of his work. He’s richly earned a ban.

The book in hand provides a good example.
The Innuit people he sees fit to trample
Through gross caricature. The proof is ample.
His squat Tibetan’s but another sample.

It’s sad that we must cancel Dr. Seuss,
But for his racist work there’s no excuse—
So many instances of rank abuse.
Yes, there are traits to praise, but what’s the use?



Julian D. Woodruff was a teacher, orchestral musician, and librarian. He served for several years as librarian at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. He now resides in the area of Rochester, NY, where he writes poetry and fiction, much of it for children. His work has appeared in Frostfire Worlds and on the websites of Carmina, Parody Poetry, and Reedsy. His GPS poem placed tenth in the last riddle contest of The Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

34 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    With anger, some Caucasians have turned puce,
    and claim the world is cancelling Dr Seuss;
    yet really it’s the famous author’s kin
    who’ve done six less beloved volumes in.

    Or so I’ve heard.

    Love the parody, Julian. I’ve tried Seussian-style in competitions a few times but only ever got an honourable mention.

    Long live ‘The Cat in the Hat’. Not so much ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ – it makes me feel queasy (which rhymes with ‘over-easy’)…

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Some terrified Caucasians lack the balls
      To stand up to “woke” culture’s raging squalls.
      What happened to our free men? What the deuce
      Compels them to come up with an excuse
      To justify a cancelled Dr. Seuss?

      • Julian D. Woodruff

        Pale-faces heep big wimps–going professional. (Ooh, my spell-checker did not like that 1st word at all!)

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Glad you’re with me on McE’s Pool, Paul. But then should I take “less beloved” as a bit of sarcasm?
      You’re right on Green Eggs, too. I think things started to go downhill for Dr. Seuss once the educational establishment got a hold on him. Quite evidently, they’re still going downhill

  2. Joe Tessitore

    There must be an excuse for the racist work of Margaret Sanger for, far from being canceled, her Planned Parenthood has just had a truckload of money dumped on it by Don Giuseppe “Joe” Biden.

    What determines which racist will be cancelled and which won’t?

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Good point, Mr. Tessitore; although PP is not as loud about its MS origins as it used to be. I think it’s mainly the feminists and academics who idolize her. Of course, this means a wide swath of the book world.

  3. Joe Tessitore

    The racist who kills is rewarded, the racist who caricatures is cancelled.

    Only in America.

  4. Julian D. WOODRUFF

    And as someone pointed out, everything Dr. Seuss drew was a caricature–including fish.

    • :Donna Marie

      Exactly! AND…Theodor “Seuss” Geisel was actually the OPPosite of racist. This is fact. I’ve done months of research so know.

  5. Julian D. Woodruff

    The rh image that Evan posted seems to be from Dr. Seuss’s Scrambled Eggs Super (1953). It does borrow from the “Eskimo Fish” picture in McE’s Pool, however. (I don’t think this one has been canceled yet, but you can be sure folks are taking aim.)

    • Mike Bryant

      Julian, the only thing that is to Dr. Seuss’s credit is the fact that he voted a straight Democrazie ticket in the recent election.

  6. Lannie David Brockstein

    It always seemed to me that George Lucas sold his Star Wars franchise to Disney because of how politically correct Hollywood and the mainstream media had become, and thus that had he filmed Episodes VII, VIII, and IX as he intended them to be, that after having released Episode VII, he would have been canceled even faster than President Trump recently was.

    Along with Dr. Seuss’s books being canceled, should all baseball card sets from the early 20th century be canceled from being sold at Sotheby’s auction house because they only feature White baseball players?

    Should the planets and days of the week be renamed because they are all named after White pagan gods?

    The CCP is using its “Social Contract for Foreign Companies” to “influence” all foreign companies who do business in the China slave market to behave in their home country (and online) as proxies in its cancel culture cyberwar against the West, and thus to themselves “influence” non-Chinese citizens who use the products and services of those companies to speak and behave as though they are in the China slave market, lest they be canceled, too.

    Some brave Hong Kong dissidents probably used a Dr. Seuss cartoon drawing in a hilarious manner to caricature Chairman Xi; that is probably what the canceling of Dr. Seuss is really about.

      • Evan Mantyk

        Dear Lannie, it’s a terribly disturbing connection you’ve made, and I suspect you are correct. The CCP is undoubtedly happy to see companies engaging in totalitarian thought control. Thank you for the article.

      • Lannie David Brockstein

        Dear Evan,

        I am thankful that you and the staff at The Society of Classical Poets have fashioned a forum where classical poems such as “Jelly Guts Rule” by Julian Woodruff are published, and where “terribly disturbing connections” may be freely expressed.

        I hope for everybody who recognizes cancel culture for the pandemic that it is to read the many additional articles that can be found online about the CCP’s evil “Social Credit System for Corporations” (SCSC), if they haven’t already, because cancel culture is the culture of the CCP—they are one and the same.

        From Lannie.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      I love that last suggestion! I wonder if Xi and his operatives or admirers are behind the canceling of “white” translations of Amanda Gorman?! Maybe I’ll see if SCP will post my reaction to that development.

      • Julian D. Woodruff

        (The above is in response to Lannie’s 1st comment.)

      • Lannie David Brockstein

        Those criticasters who shamed to death Marieke Lucas Rijneveld for having been hired as a translator by Amanda Gorman’s publisher, have probably themselves been hired by corporations that are doing business in the China slave market, because the more that their employees propagate far-leftist ideology, the more that the CCP rewards those corporations with a higher SCSC (Social Credit System for Corporations) score.

  7. C.B. Anderson

    Your irony is superb, nearly transcendent, and there’s little left to say. Next they’ll be going after Winnie the Pooh. Oh, I had some differences with my grade-school teachers, but I would rather go back to that world than endure another minute of the Leftist crap that’s being vomited today in the name of equity and justice.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      I’m no fan of Pooh, CB, but I readily agree with you. Even Dick and Jane (reading series foisted on us by educators and long forgotten, for those who aren’t old enough to remember) would be better.

      • C.B. Anderson

        For some reason, Julian, in my grade school we did not use Dick & Jane (an obvious allusion to male genitalia and marijuana) but a different early reader starring Tom, Betty & Susan and a dog named Flip. It made no difference; I still learned to read and in fact was chastised for reading ahead and finishing the stupid damn book before the rest of the class was halfway through it. As for Pooh, I never read those Milne books until I read them to my children. I’m no big fan either, but I think the kids liked them. You see, I am old enough to remember.

  8. Joseph S. Salemi

    Kip, I did have the Dick and Jane reader back in 1953. It seemed baby-simple and easy, but that was because my grandfather had already taught me most of the elements of reading in 1952, when I was still in kindergarten. Your experience confirms me in the belief that we unnecessarily prolong childish ignorance in this country by NOT TEACHING READING SKILLS SOONER. Kids can learn to read very easily, and very quickly.

    The imbecilic John Dewey (that vile nemesis of education) wanted to postpone the teaching of reading until the higher grades. What a putz!

    • C.B. Anderson

      I agree with you completely about Dewey, and I agree with you generally about early reading — but there are exceptions. If what I have read is correct, both Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein were late readers, which may lead to the development of uncommon intuitive faculties. Though I think it is true that most kids would do well to learn how to read at an early age, it would be even better if there were some way to identify the exceptional budding geniuses.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Yes–that was also true of William Butler Yeats, who did not learn to read until he was ten.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Mr. Salemi,
      I’m not sure what the educational strategy is (assuming there is one at all) in teaching reading at a particular age. I think the material is a more critical issue: how could Dick & Jane motivate anyone to read (or to draw, for that matter)?
      There’s also the question of when school students are given the opportunity to acquire foreign language skills, and how stimulating the instruction. I suspect today foreign language instruction is crowded out by a host of unnecessary (at best) and deleterious (at worst) subjects.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        In earlier times in England, small children learned to read from their “horn books” — a flat and broad piece of wood (with a handle) that had a piece of paper or parchment covered with clear horn or glass. On the paper was the alphabet in both cases, the Lord’s Prayer, an indication of vowel sounds, and some simple sentences.

        The basic strategy was phonetic, and not concerned with interesting material. Once the child had mastered the alphabet and its sounds, he was given more difficult sentences, prayers, or brief passages to sound out. When he had gained a rudimentary skill in reading, it was then up to the schoolmaster to decide what texts he would begin to study. You didn’t need to worry about whether the text was “interesting” — the kid HAD to buckle down and read it, or get his little arse whipped soundly with a birchen rod. The system worked very well.

        As for foreign languages, in any serious school children were started on Latin very early. By the time they were seven or eight, they could probably read simple texts like Caesar’s Gallic Wars, or Aesopian fables retold by Phaedrus. The rigorous training in Latin had an AMAZING effect on reading comprehension in English, since the difficulty of mastering Latin made progress in English (by comparison) seem very easy. By the time a child was ten or twelve, he was perfectly adept in reading English, and had a working knowledge of Latin that would be invaluable linguistically and culturally.

        And no matter what the idiots at Columbia Teachers College say, learning Latin grammar is profoundly important in understanding English grammar.

  9. Julian D. Woodruff

    I missed Tom, Betty, and Susan–just as well, I guess. I think there was another series, Martin and Judy … I wonder whether anyone back then worried that the boy always got top billing.

  10. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Thank you, Julian for this topical and well written poem.

    In the UK we had the “Janet & John” series… the most boring books I’ve ever had to cast my eyes upon… long live Dr. Seuss!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      … and A.A. Milne, Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome, E. Nesbit, Elisabeth Beresford, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Philippa Pearce, Michael Bond, Noel Streatfeild, J.M. Barrie etc. etc. Let’s hope the CCP don’t get their evil hands on these childhood delights!

  11. Julian D. Woodruff

    Thank you, Susan
    I’m afraid many of these names are unfamiliar to me. If I may make the assumption that they’re largely British or insular, I might say (as you’re probably already aware) there are plenty of American children’s classics besides Dr. Seuss that the pc meanies have in their sights.

  12. David Watt

    Thank you Julian for your well written poem highlighting the idiocy of cancelling Dr. Seuss books. To find anything harmful in the rhymes or illustrations of Dr. Seuss requires a great deal of effort. It’s a pity the cancel culture cretins can’t find a more productive pastime.
    We had Dick and Jane readers here in the early 60’s. These simple, yet effective instruments of early learning wouldn’t pass muster today.

  13. Julian D. Woodruff

    To Prof. Salemi: Better the Our Father under threat of the rod than Dick and Jane! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), many beg to differ. At least here in the USA there had better be another stimulus to literacy. Motivation is a growing problem–a topic you are as fit to address as anyone in this forum. For instance, what would a regular dose of metered rhyming poetry, adequately taught, do to the morale of grade-school students. (I once read a ditty called “Jonathan Blake Ate Too Much Cake” to a class of 3rd-6th grade boys classified “behaviorally challenged” or something of the sort. I saw more smiles in 10 minutes than I was used to seeing in a week.)

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      You are absolutely correct, Mr. Woodruff. One of my unforgettable poetic experiences in my fifth-grade class (1958) was the reading of John Masefield’s magnificent “Spanish Waters.” Today, no American child will see that poem, because Masefield uses the place name “Nigger Head” in it.

  14. Bill Thran

    Exactly!!! This Half Breed Native American/German US citizen finds nothing at all racist about Mcelliotts Pool, my all-time favorite childhood book that my fool blooded Native American mother used to enjoy reading to me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.