top of page

Three Hilarious Poems from James and the Giant Peach (1961) by Beloved Children's Author Roald Dahl

Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker About Themselves

“I look and smell,” Aunt Sponge declared, “as lovely as a rose!”

Just feast your eyes upon my face, observe my shapely nose!

Behold my heavenly silky locks!

And if I take off both my socks

You’ll see my dainty toes.”

“But don’t forget,” Aunt Spiker cried, “how much your tummy shows!”

Aunt Sponge went red. Aunt Spiker said, “My sweet, you cannot win,

Behold MY gorgeous curvy shape, my teeth, my charming grin!

Oh, beauteous me! How I adore

My radiant looks! And please ignore

The pimple on my chin.”

“My dear old trout!” Aunt Sponge cried out, “You’re only bones and skin!”

“Such loveliness as I possess can only truly shine

In Hollywood!” Aunt Sponge declared. “Oh, wouldn’t that be fine!

I’d capture all the nations’ hearts!

They’d give me all the leading parts!

The stars would all resign!”

“I think you’d make,” Aunt Spiker said, “a lovely Frankenstein.”

There Is No Knowing What We Shall See!

"There is no knowing what we shall see!" cried the Centipede

"We may see a Creature with forty-nine heads Who lives in the desolate snow, And whenever he catches a cold (which he dreads) He has forty-nine noses to blow. "We may see the venomous Pink-Spotted Scrunch Who can chew up a man with one bite. It likes to eat five of them roasted for lunch And eighteen for its supper at night. "We may see a Dragon, and nobody knows That we won't see a Unicorn there. We may see a terrible Monster with toes Growing out of the tufts of his hair. "We may see the sweet little Biddy-Bright Hen So playful, so kind and well-bred; And such beautiful eggs! You just boil them and then They explode and they blow off your head.

"A Gnu and a Gnocerous surely you'll see And that gnormous and gnorrible Gnat Whose sting when it stings you goes in at the knee And comes out through the top of your hat. "We may even get lost and be frozen by frost. We may die in an earthquake or tremor. Or nastier still, we may even be tossed On the horns of a furious Dilemma. "But who cares! Let us go from this horrible hill! Let us roll! Let us bowl! Let us plunge! Let's go rolling and bowling and spinning until We're away from old Spiker and Sponge!"

The Centipede Song

‘I’ve eaten many strange and scrumptious dishes in my time, Like jellied gnats and dandyprats and earwigs cooked in slime, And mice with rice – they’re really nice When roasted in their prime. (But don’t forget to sprinkle them with just a pinch of grime.)

‘I’ve eaten fresh mudburgers by the greatest cooks there are, And scrambled dregs and stinkbugs’ eggs and hornets stewed in tar, And pails of snails and lizards’ tails, And beetles by the jar. (A beetle is improved by just a splash of vinegar.)

‘I often eat boiled slobbages. They’re grand when served beside Minced doodlebugs and curried slugs. And have you ever tried Mosquitoes’ toes and wampfish roes Most delicately fried? (The only trouble is they disagree with my inside.)

‘I’m mad for crispy wasp-stings on a piece of buttered toast, And pickled spines of porcupines. And then a gorgeous roast Of dragon’s flesh, well hung, not fresh – It costs a pound at most, (And comes to you in barrels if you order it by post.)

‘I crave the tasty tentacles of octopi for tea I like hot-dogs, I LOVE hot-frogs, and surely you’ll agree A plate of soil with engine oil’s A super recipe. (I hardly need to mention that it’s practically free.)

‘For dinner on my birthday shall I tell you what I chose: Hot noodles made from poodles on a slice of garden hose – And a rather smelly jelly Made of armadillo’s toes. (The jelly is delicious, but you have to hold your nose.)

‘Now comes,’the Centipede declared,’the burden of my speech: These foods are rare beyond compare – some are right out of reach; But there’s no doubt I’d go without A million plates of each For one small mite, One tiny bite Of this FANTASTIC PEACH!’


bottom of page