This Phoebe Ann was a very proud girl,
Her nose had always an upward curl.

She thought herself better than all others beside,
And beat even the peacock himself in pride.

She thought the earth was so dirty and brown,
That never, by chance, would she look down;
And she held up her head in the air so high
That her neck began stretching by and by.
It stretched and it stretched; and it grew so long
That her parents thought something must be wrong.
It stretched and stretched, and they soon began
To look up with fear at their Phoebe Ann.

They prayed her to stop her upward gaze,
But Phoebe kept on in her old proud ways,
Until her neck had grown so long and spare
That her head was more than her neck could bear-
And it bent to the ground, like a willow tree,
And brought down the head of this proud Phoebe,
Until whenever she went out a walk to take,
The boys would shout, 'Here comes a snake!'

Her head got to be so heavy to drag on,
That she had to put it on a little wagon.
So don't, my friends, hold your head too high,
Or your neck may stretch, too, by and by.


About Heinrich Hoffmann


Heinrich Hoffmann was a German psychiatrist, who also wrote some short works including Der Struwwelpeter, an illustrated book portraying children misbehaving. Early Life and Education Hoffmann was born in Frankfurt on Main to an architect father, Philipp Hoffmann, who was responsible for the city's streets and waterways. Hoffmann's mother died when he was a baby. His father later married her sister, Antoinette Lausberg, who was a loving and more than adequate mother to him. Lazy and easily distracted, Hoffmann at first struggled at school, but became a successful student after conforming to the strict discipline imposed by his demanding father.... Read more...

Poet of the day

Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet of the First World War who was considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poets. His "Poems from the Trenches" are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War.

Isaac Rosenberg was born to Barnet...
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Poem of the day


Who will away to Athens with me? Who
Loves choral songs and maidens crown'd with flowers,
Unenvious? mount the pinnace; hoist the sail.
I promise ye, as many as are here,
Ye shall not, while ye tarry with me, taste
From unrinsed barrel the diluted...
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