Dr. Seuss: Way past silliness

Dr. Seuss: Way past silliness

Though he died in 1991, Seuss seems more popular than ever. ‘The Cat in the Hat’ is now a movie. Thanks to the publicity from the film, the book has returned to the New York Times best-seller picture book list.
The U.S. Postal Service is canceling stamps with Cat in the Hat marks. And it has commissioned a new Seuss stamp to be issued March 4, as the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Seuss’ birth.
Now you can add a new book to the list –‘Dr. Seuss: American Icon’ by Kansas State assistant professor of English Philip Nel…
Dr. Seuss, Nel said, is arguably America’s most famous poet.
“If you quote a line of Seuss verse to someone they could not only tell you who wrote it, but probably recite some of their own,” he said.
For example:

Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-Am
I do not like green eggs and ham.

Seuss was a genius at playing with words. With his deceptively simple rhymes he bent the language to suit his whims by coining new words. He did nothing less than change the way we use words.
“He invented the word nerd,” Nel said. It appears in “If I Ran the Zoo” in 1950.
In “The Lorax” he seamlessly weaved in the words snarggled, cruffulous and smogulous in the span of three lines.
“If you think of Seuss’ legacy it’s to be creative,” Nel said. “To think outside the box. That’s part of his lasting appeal.”
The Wichita Eagle | 01/04/2004

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