Today is the birthday of Ted Geisel, Dr. Seuss. As an artist, he is one of my heros. When people ask me which artists I have been influenced by, I look to people like Ted Geisel and Charles Schulz. Geisel was man who combined dizzying talent with a real-world practicality, an artist who demonstrated how art can be used to demonstrably improve people’s lives.
My 2-1/2 year old son has just gotten into Seuss, so I’ve been lucky enough to re-experience his works, and watch my son experience them for the first time. We started with Green Eggs and Ham, reading it each night for a couple of weeks. But then we moved on to Horton Hears a Who, which he has me read to him at least twice a day. Ah, Horton! It has to be one of my favorite books, period. Green Eggs is fun, The Cat in the Hat is wild, but Horton is sublime. And the language — oh, the language is just beautiful: the sound of it, the way it feels as you read it, the way it makes the story flow through your mind. Whenever we get to the part of the story where the Whos all shout “we are here, we are here, we are here, we are here”, and my son lets out a cheer, it never fails to choke me up. It never fails to amaze me how my son is riveted to this story, time and time again. To make a work of art that has such an impact… I cannot imagine what that must be like.
Other posts you might be interested in:
Reading Seuss is like going to a really fun parade. The magic and rhythm sets a cadence that yanks a smile in most everyone. Seuse was one-of-a-kind and my 3 boys loved all of his books.
For a man to be so completely receptive, and to communicate all of this feeling, without interruption in such form as this rich and vibrant triumph of the human imagination. He floats and bounces you through boundless imaginary landscapes that sound just as colorful as you go. Walking you along so very completely, he could inspire the feeling and tempo of light youthful enthusiasm while guiding you calmly toward a solid and resolute grasp upon reality and true importance. He is a master of his craft, my respect for the struggles it must have taken to both control and express this exceptional imagination.