The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

The Importance of Being Derek

... a Derek the Dog Tale
(after Oscar Wilde)
Listen to the poem ...
Oscar Wilde signed our copy of The Happy Prince the other day.
Wrote a touching note to my dog Derek inside the end papers
in appreciation of his sunny disposition and positive outlook:

said that Derek made him glad there was a dog so happy

and "of all the beautiful flowers in the garden
Derek was “the most beautiful of all.”

Derek reflected a while:
inspired by Wilde’s words,
decided to adopt Oscar’s approach to life.

Believed it was much too important a thing to be serious about,
resolved to be a truly devoted friend with love in his heart,
striving to be the cause of happiness wherever he went,
determined to be himself as everyone else was already taken

Understood the importance of being Derek:
Arthur ... aka Derek the Dog
Arthur ... aka Derek the Dog

wild and weird,
warm-hearted and unwavering,
wet nose and waggy tail,
a dog, happy howling at the moon.

*The italicised lines are quotes from Oscar Wilde ...

About the Writer

Jonathan Humble

Jonathan lives in Cumbria. His work has been published online and in print in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection of poetry, My Camel's Name Is Brian, was published by TMB Books in 2015. His second poetry book, Fledge came out in 2020 through Maytree Press. His poems for children have been shortlisted and highly commended in the Caterpillar and Yorkmix poetry competitions and he is the editor of The Dirigible Balloon. His poems Masterclass and This Work is Done were chosen as the Milk House Poem of the Year at the end of 2022 and 2023.