Ogres are not necessarily green

My 14 year old brought home a poem by W H Auden. It’s this one, about an Ogre. We discussed the poem, what does it mean, what do you think the poet’s point was etc.

Kiddo mentions that strangely enough there is no mention of “donkey” in this poem. Sigh. Does Hollywood have to get everywhere? And no, I will not read the poem in a Scottish brogue, thank you very much!

For the bajillionth time, don’t believe everything you see on TV. Ogres are not necessarily green, they don’t all live in swamps, they don’t all have a best buddy called Donkey, and they don’t all sound like a Scot!! According to W H Auden, they cannot even speak clearly. (But maybe that was a nod to Shrek’s accent? Hmm…)

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4 Comments

  1. Never mind the strangeness of arguing the point as if ogres exist at all…

    But I know what you mean. Still, I think you should try for the Scottish brogue, if it would pique kiddo’s interest in poetry. Perhaps you should watch Lord of the Rings – there’s a rather disgusting ogre, there, who is not green, not very smart, and definitely NOT cuddly.

    Still no donkey, though.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      Never mind the strangeness of arguing the point as if ogres exist at all…

      yeah, I know…. but IF they did exist, would they be green? or like the ogre in LOTR??

      • They’d be whatever best served my story’s purpose. ;) There are no “right” or “wrong” answers when it comes to fantasy fiction! (Just glaring inconsistencies and plot holes big enough to drive a truck through.)

  2. fille says:

    That’s a nice poem.

    Thanks for sharing.

    However, as I am not a native english-speaker, I cannot understand those two lines:
    About a subjugated plain,
    Among its desperate and slain,

    Here is the whole poem for context:
    The Ogre does what ogres can,
    Deeds quite impossible for Man,
    But one prize is beyond his reach,
    The Ogre cannot master Speech:
    About a subjugated plain,
    Among its desperate and slain,
    The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
    While drivel gushes from his lips.

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