Mr. Macklin’s Jack O’Lantern
by David McCord
Mr. Macklin takes his knife
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
Three holes bring eyes and nose to life,
The mouth has thirteen teeth in place.
Then Mr. Macklin just for fun
Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his
Wry mouth to Jack’s, and everyone
Dies laughing! O what fun it is
Till Mr. Macklin draws the shade
And lights the candle in Jack’s skull.
Then all the inside dark is made
As spooky and as horrorful
As Halloween, and creepy crawl
The shadows on the tool-house floor,
With Jack’s face dancing on the wall.
O Mr. Macklin! where’s the door?
Another quick Halloween poem by McCord:
On Halloween, what bothers some
About these witches is, how come
In sailing through the air like bats
They never seem to lose their hats?
How fun are these poems! David McCord (1897-1997) was a renowned author of children’s poetry and also wrote adult poetry and prose. McCord, who was born in New York City in 1897, lived for a while in Princeton, N.J. At 12, he moved with his family to Oregon, where he lived on an uncle’s farm on the edge of a wilderness. It was there, he later wrote, that he learned, ”Poetry is rhythm, just as the planet Earth is rhythm; the best writing, poetry or prose — no matter what the message it conveys — depends on a very sure and subtle rhythm.”
He wrote or edited more than 40 books of poetry and prose. Among them were ”One at a Time,” a collection of his children’s verse published in 1978 by Little, Brown; ”On Occasion,” a collection of his occasional verse published in 1943 by Harvard University Press; ”About Boston,” a collection of essays about the city first published in 1948 by Doubleday and reprinted in 1964 by Little, Brown, and ”What Cheer,” an anthology of British and American humorous and witty verse published by Coward-McCann in 1945 and reprinted in 1946 as ”The Pocket Book of Humorous Verse.”