Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pondering The Jellyfish

My son just returned from surfing camp in Florida. He brought back stories of encounters with dolphins and Portuguese Man o' Wars. As well as a few garden variety jellyfish stings on his toes.

I showed him and my other two little ones Nash's 'The Jellyfish' and asked them if they could memorize the seven word poem. Predictably my oldest finished first. However, their varied interpretations on the poem's meaning were unexpected.

The Jellyfish

Who wants my jellyfish?

I'm not sellyfish!

I thought this was just a simple summer ode to a one dimensional creature. However, my 11 year old recited it back "I'm not shellyfish" A reading which surprisingly borders on making sense zoologically.

My 7 year old interpreted 'sellyfish' as I did: a play on 'selfish'. As in: 'Out of altruism I bequeath you this stinging blob.'

My wife perceived that Nash meant he would not venture to 'sell-yfish' his jellyfish for financial gain.

While my four year maintained his silence with a far away gaze. Perhaps he was dreaming about peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches.
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