Eugene Field: Worlds and Childhood Fantasies

Step into the enchanting world of Eugene Field, a poet who spun whimsical tales that continue to delight young readers. Join us in exploring the magic and joy that Field wove into his timeless verses.

Born in 1850, Eugene Field was not just a poet but a storyteller extraordinaire. Uncover the life of this beloved wordsmith and the inspiration he drew from his own childhood, creating literary landscapes that resonate with readers of all ages.

Immerse yourself in the playful rhythms of “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” and the delightful charm of “The Duel.” Analyze Field’s ability to capture the innocence and wonder of childhood in verses that remain a source of joy for generations.

Navigate the whimsy of Field’s verses with language tailored for young imaginations. His playful words and catchy rhythms invite children into a world of make-believe and fantasy.

Bring the magic to life with interactive activities inspired by Field’s tales. Encourage your child to create their own imaginative bedtime story or a playful poem about their favorite toys.

Enhance the poetic experience with vibrant illustrations capturing the spirit of Field’s tales. Visualize the adventures of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod or the comical duel between the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.

“Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe…” Share the whimsy of Field’s quotes with your young readers, allowing the rhythmic words to dance off the page and into their hearts.

Ignite the joy of storytelling by reading Field’s verses aloud. Let the lively cadence and fanciful tales create a shared experience, making bedtime or playtime a magical adventure.  Begin right now with The Duel.


The Duel by Eugene Field

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
‘Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
 Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!
)

The gingham dog went “Bow-wow-wow!”
And the calico cat replied “Mee-ow!”
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I’m only telling you
 What the old Dutch clock declares is true!
)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, “Oh, dear! What shall we do!”
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
 Employing every tooth and claw
 In the awfullest way you ever saw—
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
 (Don’t fancy I exaggerate—
 I got my news from the Chinese plate!
)

Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
 And that is how I came to know.
)

Inspire creativity with a writing prompt that encourages your child to craft their own whimsical poem or bedtime story. Field’s imaginative tales provide a perfect launchpad for young storytellers.

Connect Field’s themes of childhood joy and playfulness to everyday experiences. Discuss the importance of imagination and creativity in shaping a world filled with wonder.

Explore the various facets of Field’s work, from lullabies to humorous tales. Introduce young readers to the diversity within a single poet’s body of work, showcasing the vast range of emotions and themes poetry can explore.

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