They say you shouldn't choose a favorite child, but what if one of them is smart, prettier, and comes in the shape of a Furby? From the moment I read this in the slush pile, to the first time the staff read it aloud in class, and on... this poem has been my favorite. Tah-May-Tah by Remus Mo is everything The Echo wanted when it asked for phantasmagoria. But what can anyone learn from this wacky, creepy, weird little poem? The answer, may educational friends, is in the furbish...

Jump to Section:

  1. Analysis of Poem
  2. Paired Texts and Further Reading
  3. Lesson Plan
  4. Writing Prompts

why I read this poem over and over again

because Furby boh boo moh-moh

Let's get the obvious out of the way: yes, you could use this as an example of shape poetry. My beef with most shape poems is that students spend less time reading them than looking at them, which because you can recognize the shape in one blink of a Furby doll, is almost no time at all. I think reading this poem for the sake of nonsense might also be a misstep. Yes, the furbish is funny (and reading to unpack the complex intersection of humor and discomfort) but it's not really nonsense. You might not be able to learn Furbish on Duolingo, but many of the phrases DO have translations and clearly Mo meant for it to be read as a language and not gibberish because they included a translation with the text. So put away your Jaberwockys.

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