Category Archives: “Little Willie” and “Brats” Poems

“Evil Stepmothers and Stepfathers”

3 stereotype-perpetuating poems by Paul Burgess [2 limerick and a “Brats” quatrain]

“An Evil Stepmother [or Stepfather’s] Threat”
“The next time you are sent to your room,
I’ll ensure that you meet with your doom.
You’ll be there alone
‘til skin falls from bone
And you’re fit to be placed in a tomb.”

“An Evil Stepmother or Stepfather’s Warning”
“If you forget to wash your own plate,
I’ll smash it on top of your pate.
If your plate’s still not clean,
I will batter your bean
With the plate off of which you just ate.”

“A Sea of Yellow Sorrows”
Incontinent was little Brett.
His mother said, when quite upset,
“To your bed, I’ll tie you down.
Keep on wetting, and you’ll drown.”

“Cosmic Revenge”

[“Willie the Demon Child, pt II”]…dedicated to those–unfortunately in the majority–who believe that punishment is more desirable than reformation…

Before reading, please see Pt. I: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/wicked-willie-the-demon-child-pt-i/

“Demonic Dummy”
So empty was wee Willie’s head,
He’d do whatever others said.
Mom screamed, “In traffic go and play,”
And Willie did it right away.

“Rollin'”
In a tire decided Will
To go rolling down a hill.
The story’s ending can’t be told
‘cuz no one knows to where he’s rolled.

“Rubber Band”
Will thought no game to be as grand
As pulling taut a rubber band.
‘Til back at him a band did fly
And left him with a useless eye.

“The Demon and the Serpent”
Will thought he’d grabbed a slimy stick
Until he felt a painful prick.
For Will had made the big mistake
Of picking up a rattle snake.

“Will Has a Blast”
When Little Will was nearly six,
His mother gave him nitro sticks.
He thought his games to be a blast,
But fun that hot can never last.

5 “Little Willie” poems by Paul Burgess. For background info on the Little Willie form–yes, it’s a form–please see the following post: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/little-willie-and-brats-poems/

“Wicked Willie–the Demon Child” pt. I

“Kids at Play”
Will showed his siblings Father’s gun.
“Oh, Russian Roulette sounds like fun!”
Exclaimed his sister, Mary Lynn.
Will said, “You first. I hope you win.”

“A Gift for Teacher”
An apple Will gave Missus Cox
While smiling like a hungry fox.
As Teacher swallowed her first bite,
Will quipped, “I hope you’ve seen Snow White!”

“A Devil at Confession”
“Confess now Willie how you’ve sinned,”
The priest implored, but Willie grinned
And with these words then refused,
Tell me, how many boys you’ve abused.”

“Willie’s Web”
Willie once thought it’d be a hoot
To hide a spider in Dad’s boot.
Dad’s body’s been of little use
Since meeting Willie’s brown recluse.

Who?”
For Will it was a hoot and howl
To murder sis then, like an owl,
Respond by saying only, “Who?”
When asked by Mom, “Where’s Mary Lou?”

5 “Little Willie” poems by Paul Burgess. For background info on the Little Willie form–yes, it’s a form–please see the following post: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/little-willie-and-brats-poems/

 

“Back in Granny’s Day” by Paul Burgess

When little Louie would complain,
It drove his granny quite insane.
She’d tell him, “Back in Granny’s day,
Jack the Ripper took her heart away.”

“Elaine and the Kangaroo” a “brats” poem by Paul Burgess

While visiting the London Zoo,
Elaine harassed a kangaroo.
When ‘Lainey tried its nose to pick,
The ‘roo unleased a lethal kick.

“Ermine Elle”

“Ermine Elle” [a “brats” poem by Paul Burgess]

While wearing Mother’s ermine coat,
Elle looked exactly like a stoat.
Believing she was surely one,
A hunter went to get his gun.

Wholesome Verse for the Little Children [“Little Willie” and “Brats,” Installment 3] By Paul Burgess

Although I am no fan of flatulence jokes, I know that many people are. Consider the following a good faith effort to give the people what they want;) 

“Fire in the Hole”

Will, wanting Mother’s eye to catch,
Decided that he’d light a match
And set on fire escaping gas.
Prosthetic now is Willie’s ass.

Wholesome Verse for the Little Children [“Little Willie” and “Brats,” Installment 2] By Paul Burgess

3 Little Willies and a Brat

1. So empty was wee Willie’s head,
He’d do whatever others said.
Mom screamed, “In traffic go and play,”
And Willie did it right away.

2. In a tire decided Will
To go rolling down a hill.
The story’s ending can’t be told
‘cuz no one knows to where he’s rolled.

3. “Confess now Willie how you’ve sinned,”
The priest implored, but Willie grinned
And with these words then refused,
Tell me, how many boys you’ve abused.”

4. From Father’s flask beneath the sink,
Rebellious Ralphie snuck a drink
Of what he’d thought was gin or wine
But found to be some turpentine.

Wholesome Verse for the Little Children [“Little Willie” and “Brats” Poems] (Installment 1)

Before sharing my contributions to the venerable “Little Willie” and “Brats” traditions, I want to provide a brief history of the forms from William Baer’s Writing Metrical Poetry:

In 1899, the British author Harry Graham, under the pseudonym Col. D. Streamer, published a little book entitled Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes….As his tiles promised, the poems…were ruthless little black-humor poems, which often included violence or death, often at the expense of children. Graham’s fiendish poems, which clearly poked fun at both British reserve and human insensibility, delighted the British public…This little poem [“Tender-Heartedness,” included below] spawned countless imitations, and (like the limerick) the numbers of Little Willie poems wax and wane over the years…the poems, always composed of two tetrameter couplets, begin with “Little Willie” or just “Willie.” [188-89]

Tender-Heartedness

Billy, in one of his nice new sashes,

Fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes;

Now, although the room grows chilly,

I haven’t the heart to poke poor Billy.

 

An anonymous example:

Little Willie full of hell

Pushed his sister in the well

Said his mother drawing water

“It’s so hard to raise a daughter.

 

Describing “brats” poems, Baer notes that “the first line of these couplet poems (usually composed in quatrains) generally contains the name of the bratty child who, with the next three lines, faces the music” (189).

Baer provides the following example from X.J. Kennedy:

Stupid little Lucy Wankett

Washed her automatic blanket

while the thing was still plugged in.

Notify her next of kin.


I take credit for being the sick bastard behind the rest of the “Little Willie” and “Brats” Poems posted here. To make iambic tetrameter flow more smoothly, I have often changed “Willie” to “Will.”

[Little Willie] “Playing with Father’s Gun”

Willie showed his siblings Father’s gun.

“Oh, Russian Roulette sounds like fun!”

Exclaimed his sister Mary Lynn.

Will said, “You first. I hope you win.”

[Little Willie] “An Apple for Teacher”

An apple Will gave Missus Cox
While smiling like a hungry fox.
As teacher swallowed her first bite,
Will quipped, “I hope you’ve seen Snow White!”

[Little Willie] “Five, six/Pick up Sticks”

Will thought he’d grabbed a slimy stick
Until he felt a painful prick.
For Will had made the big mistake
Of picking up a rattlesnake.

[Little Willie] “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”

Willie once thought it’d be a hoot
To hide a spider in Dad’s boot.
Dad’s body’s been of little use
Since meeting Willie’s brown recluse.

[Little Willie] “Who?”

For Will it was a hoot and howl
To murder sis then, like an owl,
Respond by saying only, “Who?”
When asked by Mom, “Where’s Mary Lou?”

[Little Willie] “Playing with Rubber Bands”

Will thought no game to be as grand
As pulling taut a rubber band.
‘Til back at him a band did fly
And left him with a useless eye.

[Brats] Jake’s Snake

One day to school was brought by Jake
A very large constrictor snake.
He found himself in quite a squeeze
With Boa Bob around his knees.

[Brats] Brett […whose malicious mother’s words sound mild compared to the things I have heard some of my students say about their children…]

Incontinent was little Brett.
His mother said, when quite upset,
“To your bed, I’ll tie you down.
Keep on wetting, and you’ll drown.”