Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Doctor

D is for Doctor. Today,  author Sandi Hershenson is joining us to discuss "Oh the Poet We Know!" Thanks Sandi!

Here are some clues to the poet we know: 
  • He was a college dropout and gave himself the title of Dr. so his father would believe he had earned his degree.
  • He won multiple Academy Awards including one for a Best Documentary Short Subject called Hitler Lives?
  • He won the very first Outstanding California Author Award from the California Association of Teachers of English.
  • He won a Special Citation Pulitzer Prize in 1984 "for his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America's children and their parents."

 Who is this man? 

He is none other than the fabulously terrific, inspiring author—Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel)!
  • Born in 1904, Ted learned to rhyme from his mother.  He preserved the memories of his childhood in Springfield, Massachusetts by incorporating them into his books. 
  • During his stay as a student at Dartmouth College, Ted was editor-in-chief of the school’s humor magazine.  However, he was forced out of this position because he and his friends threw a drinking party on campus, and it was against the laws of prohibition.  In order for him to continue working on the magazine without getting caught, Ted Geisel began to sign his work as simply, Seuss. 
  • In 1927, Ted married Helen Palmer, a children’s book editor and author. He then began his 15+-year career as an advertising designer for Standard Oil.  He also published work in a variety of magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Life, and Vanity Fair.
  • Ted wanted to be a participant in WWII; however, he was too old to be drafted.  He decided to learn about animation, and made military training films.
  • After 27 rejections, Dr. Seuss published his first big book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937.  His most well known book, The Cat in the Hat, was not published until 20 years later, in 1957.
  • Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24, 1991 with 44 published children’s books that he both wrote and illustrated himself.  His stories have developed an international following in more than 15 languages, and more than 200 million copies sold. 
Wow, over 200 million copies sold. Can you imagine! 
Sandi, What do you love about Dr. Seuss? 
As a writer, Dr. Seuss has been a tremendous influence on me.  I am not a rhymer, and I am certainly not an illustrator.  I do, however, have a fantastic imagination that I love to share with others, particularly children.  Dr. Seuss has taught all of us that running away with our imaginations is one of the best things that people can do. 

What is your favourite book by Dr. Seuss? 
My favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Cat in the Hat.  I love the free flowing imagination in this book—for all of the characters.  The story always leads to great conversations with my kids.  What more could I want from a book?

Sandi Hershenson just published her first picture book with uTales, Annie and Me.  She lives with her husband and 4 daughters in Los Angeles.  You can contact Sandi through her blog, The Write Stuff by clicking here

Do you know what Dr. Seuss was known for? He was known for writing in rhyme and in trisyllabic meter, "which means that every third syllable of his stories is more stressed than the others" (A Hatful of Seuss). Take this example from Dr. Seuss' book Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The bold bits are the stressed syllables. 

“And today the Great Yertle, that Marvelous he
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see." 

Using the Dr. Seuss picture above as a prompt 
--Write a poem in trisyllabic meter
--Write a rhyming poem or
--Write a silly poem 
Feel free to share your poem in the comments below, on your blog (leave a link in the comments), or on the poetry Facebook page.

To learn more about Dr. Seuss 
--A Hatful of Seuss click here
--How to Write Like Dr. Seuss click here
--Dr. click here
--Go to Seussville by clicking here 

If you liked this post please let others know. Tomorrow bring your wit with you as your going to need it when you learn all about writing epigrams. I hope you come back for that. 


  1. Thanks for the back story on Dr. Suess Rena, I wasn't aware of all that.

    Congrats again Sandi on your new book!

    The word trisyllabic sounds pretty intimadating but I'll try it out. :)

    1. Here is my trisyllabic :)

      Doctor of Rhyme

      Do you know of the Doc that created his rhymes,
      For the children to read and remember at times?
      He would rhyme with the alphabet, B is for Bat,
      He's the Suess! He invented the Cat in the Hat.

    2. He's the Seuss alright! Love your title! Jennifer, you're a talent and I thoroughly enjoy reading everything you write. This challenge is allowing me to meet such a talented group of folks!

  2. I hope I am not repeating, but I left a comment earlier and it's not showing up.
    I loved all the fun Seuss-facts. There's a lot about him I didn't know. I love his poetry...he's my fave.
    Thanks to both of you for taking the time for this post!
    Congrats on your book, Sandi. I'm happy for you!

    1. I got e-mail that shows you commented twice, but it's not showing up here. Weird. Dr. Seuss is pretty awesome. I can't believe he has sold over 200 million copies!

  3. Wonderful post! I hope I can occupy my 3 yr old enough to get this done in time. So interesting to hear the other things Dr. Seuss did.

  4. Congrats to Sandi! and here is my post today:

  5. No poetry challenge could be complete without a mention of Dr. Seuss. He did it best.... :)

    Thank you Sandi and Rena for today's post! :)

  6. Oh...and here is the link to my poem.

  7. Great post today - lots of background on Dr. Seuss, Sandy's awesome interview and a terrific prompt! I'm loving this challenge!! Here's a link to my post:

    1. Thanks. Having a post on Dr. Seuss was a must!

  8. That was so interesting. Thank you. For some reason, I never read any of the Dr. Seuss books as a kid. The first one I remember hearing was The Happy Birthday Book - I loved it when I heard it at about age 13 or 14, and still love it today. I've delighted in other Seuss books as an adult... and some day I'll read The Cat in the Hat!

    1. I know that when his books first came out that some parents didn't want them read to their children as he was considered a bad influence. My favourite book is "Green Eggs and Ham".

  9. Interesting stuff about Dr. Seuss. I knew he wrote as Theo Lesieg for a while. My daughter has a few books with that name on it.

  10. Enjoyed this post because I like Dr. Suess a whole bunch! All my long time followers have seen me attempt his genius, but for any new folks....

    Writing, writing when I dare-(A poem)

    I can write in a car-
    Or I can write in a bar.
    It doesn’t matter where I write-
    I can write both day and night.
    I can write on a log,
    With my glasses in a fog.
    Out on the sea in a giant boat,
    I have been known to write a note.

    Yes, I can write in a wink
    Even running out of ink.
    Words can drip like Summer rain,
    Out of hidden corners of my brain.
    I can write on a train,
    Desktop, laptop, it’s all the same.
    When I’m happy or in pain.
    When my tears run off my nose-
    Loving poems, enjoying prose
    Writing is…the life I know.

    From The Desert Rocks-written by Eve Gaal

  11. I can give you a verse from one of my own PBs!

    Ginny McMaudy loved all kinds of thrills,
    Like riding her bike over towering hills,
    Smacking a cannonball into a pool --
    Swashbuckling swords in a pirate ship duel.

    Loved learning more about the good Dr. As you can probably tell, he's been very influential in my writing. :-)

    1. Cute. The pictures book I've written so far none of them have been in verse. I find writing a rhyming picture book to be really hard even though I love to write poetry.

  12. Yes, late as usual. But here's a nod to Dr. Seuss

    Oh The Socials You'll Meet!

    “Your SEO is MIA!”
    Says: Tracking Source@google
    So Blog, track. Blog, track. Blog, track. Blog
    A Top Ten Recognoogle!!

    “Such rich keywords, You’re nearly there!”
    “That Widget is staroogle!”
    And search, click. Search, click. Search, click. Search.
    Now Top Five Recognoogle!

    “You’re Social Media Royalty!”
    Says: LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter
    Then cut paste. Cut, paste. Cut! Cut! Cut!
    No fun, just hype and glitter.

    Through wiser eyes the poster sees,
    Aha Alert, from google
    Now click, laugh! Post, laugh! Blog laugh! Laugh!
    Contented BloggerNoogle!

    1. Good stuff Pam! Your poem has a nice flow to it. I like how modern it is.


Thanks for your comments. Remember to keep them kid friendly.