A Gorey Tribute

On this day in Chicago in 1925, a boy was born who would grow to realize a wonderful talent: the ability to create brilliantly rhymed and illustrated stories seemingly at a whim. His name was Edward Gorey. He wrote over 100 books in his lifetime, starting with The Unstrung Harp in 1953. He was a reclusive fellow who, sadly, died in 2000 at the age of 75.

Gorey was one of my favorite all-around artists – a remarkable writer who could illustrate his own work like no one else could – and in tribute to him I offer up this little poem that, imitating his unique style, drolly works its way through the alphabet.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to draw up a bunch of macabre pictures to go with it. Sorry. But then, few people have Gorey’s talent (though I might have done well to commission the amazing sketch talents of my friend Jay for this). UPDATE: Jay has gone and drawn up a very Gorey-esque piccie to go with his favorite line (see N below).

My humble offering here pales by comparison to Gorey's work (see for yourself) but is most sincere in its homage.

So without further ado…

The Apple of My Eye

She Adores all the things which most girls despise.
She Boasts she was blessed with two mismatched eyes.

She Clambers up onto her fat uncle’s head.
She Deposits the fish-guts out back in a shed.

She Empties her stomach one way or another.
She Frequents the same sleazy bars as her mother.

She Gargles with grapefruit juice squeezed in a shoe.
She Harasses the marmosets down at the zoo.

She Ignores all the warnings ‘bout racing a train.
She Jumps at the chance to catch frogs in the rain.

She Kicks at the anthills then sets them on fire.
She Lingers for hours in places most dire.

She Mangles the slugs that she finds in the garden.
She Neglects the scones and allows them to harden. [illo]

She Opens the windows to let stenches in.
She Pries off the lock that’s guarding the gin.

She Quivers three days before a full moon.
She Refuses to eat chicken broth with a spoon.

She Stumbles ‘pon luck both good and most foul.
She Tethers her duck to a tree with a towel.

She Unleashes her demons whenever she pleases.
She Vents her frustrations by spraying her sneezes.

She Waxes erotic at the least provocation.
She Xeroxes photos of breast augmentation.

She Yearns to be somebody’s beautiful wife.
She Zips up her dreams and goes on with her life.

Read and post comments


About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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21 Responses to A Gorey Tribute

  1. Draw says:

    This is wonderful! Well done!
    Gorey is one of my faves too, and his influence tends to crop up in my drawings (probably shows a little too much, at times!).
    Thanks for a great post!

  2. Marque says:

    awesome! love it! 😉

  3. Kirk says:

    Oh, man! I completely overlooked you, didn't I? Can't believe I did that. *sigh*HEY EVERYONE! Be sure to check out Draw's illustrations if you haven't already. He's also quite good and his concepts are exactly my kind of humor. You'll love his stuff.

  4. mariser says:

    the poem was awesom-O. I think Gorey would appreciated it.

  5. Jay says:

    Very cool Kirk! And thanks for the props too. ^__^Great abecedarium you've made up. I especially love the line about neglecting the scones! Rings especially Gorey-esque. 🙂 Maybe I'll make a drawing for that.

  6. I liked the one about the duck tethered to a tree!

  7. spooktastic says:

    quite excellent. i love gorey. i have quite a number of his books.

  8. Draw says:

    Thanks for the plug, Kirk!

  9. girl wonder says:

    You really pulled the rhyming off. Very few people have that talent these days. Awesome Kirk!

  10. §abba says:

    I love it! This is so fun to read. Gorey would be proud.

  11. SteveP says:

    Funny. I love 'She Pries off the lock that's guarding the gin'.I'm most familiar with Gorey from the 'Mystery' series intro. I'll be checking him out.

  12. Kirk says:

    "I especially love the line about neglecting the scones… Maybe I'll make a drawing for that."I would LOVE to see that, Jay. I'd also love to see your take on "She Lingers for hours in places most dire" (which is the other one I thought was most Gorey-esque).That goes for you, too, Marc! ^_^

  13. Kirk says:

    Thanks to everyone for the comments! I especially dig reading which lines you guys liked best. It's interesting how different peoples' opinions can be. Jay likes the scones line, while ilpcaglitr likes the one about the duck and the tree. SteveP likes her dedication to accessing the liquor cabinet.Anyone else want to mention which line they liked best?

  14. mariser says:

    I like 'em all, Kirk. but if you insist… this one did bring some interesting images to mind:She Harasses the marmosets down at the zoo

  15. §abba says:

    I like the "She Frequents the same sleazy bars as her mother." line. it made me giggle!

  16. Crush says:

    I like the absurdity of refusing to eat chicken broth with a spoon.
    Great stuff Kirk.

  17. stubbie23 says:

    She Frequents the same sleazy bars as her mother.I think I dated this girl once.

  18. Jay says:

    Ok Kirk, here you go.

  19. Austin1234 says:

    So cool Kirk, I had forgotten about Goery and love his work, and your homeage.Great post!

  20. . . . says:

    Excellent alphabetical poem! Great words, excellent imagery — overall an outstanding tribute.I consider myself a huge Gorey fan, and yet I missed both the Gorey ball in town a few months ago, and now I've missed his birthday. Feh on me, I say! Despite the calendar, desktops, tattoos, and posters, I remain a mere fraction of the fangirl I could be. 🙂

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