About the Poet – Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot.
Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of acting wing commander. He rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults and became one of the world’s best-selling authors. He has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”. Among his awards for contribution to literature, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1983, and Children’s Author of the Year from the British Book Awards in 1990. In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.
Dahl’s first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was “A Piece of Cake” on 1 August 1942. His first children’s book was The Gremlins, published in 1943, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. All the RAF pilots blamed the gremlins for all the problems with the aircraft. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children’s stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits and George’s Marvellous Medicine. Dahl also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. The Mystery Writers of America presented Dahl with three Edgar Awards for his work. He died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74 of a blood disease in Oxford, and was buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England.
About the Poem
‘Television’ is one of Roald Dahl’s best-known poems. It is about the negative effects that television can have on young minds. It also offers the advice that children should read books instead of watching television. This poem appeals to young readers and older ones alike, for the amusing tone that it takes in approaching its subject. Go through the detailed summary of the poem here.
Setting of the Poem Television
Roald Dahl seems to have entered into every contemporary British household as he’s writing this poem. Living as he did in the twentieth century, he saw the introduction of many, many new and innovative electronic products. The television was one of those products, and perhaps the most controversial one among them. Even now, the effects of watching television for long hours are discussed in certain circles with some amount of disapproval. Dahl is quite vocally one of that company. He also takes the opportunity to create a parallel landscape in which books abound, and are found everywhere within the house. Such a landscape, he is sure, will encourage children to read.
Please note: N= noun, V=verb, Adj=Adjective, Adv=Adverb, P=preposition
Gaping (V): Watching with eyes wide open for a long time
Loll (V): Sit, lie or stand in a lazy, relaxed way
Slop (V): Laze around
Lounge about (V): To be idle
Hypnotised (V): Fascinated
Punch (V): Hit with fist
Tot (N): Child
Rots (N): Decays by the action of bacteria and fungi
Clutters (V): Covers or fills something with an untidy collection of things
Fantasy (N): A genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure especially in a setting other than the real world
Rust (V): Forming a red or orange coating on the surface of iron when exposed to air and moisture
Gadzooks (N): An expression of surprise
Nursery (N): A room in a house for the special use of young children
Galore (Adj): In abundance
Gypsies (N): Groups of travelling people with dark skin and hair traditionally living by itinerant trade and fortune telling
Smugglers (N): A person who moves goods illegally into our out of a country
Muffled (Adj): Not loud sound because of being obstructed in some way
Oars (N): Poles with flat blade, used to row or steer a boat through water
Cannibals (N): People who eat the flesh of human beings
Rotter (N): A cruel, mean or unkind person
Rump (N): The hind part of the body of the mammal
Ridiculous (Adj): Deserving or inviting mockery
Nauseating (Adj): Causing a feeling of disgust
Foul (Adj): Offensive to the senses, especially through having a disgusting smell or taste or being dirty
Repulsive (Adj): Arousing intense distaste or disgust
You can also check out this video playlist for this poem to learn through an audio-visual format!
Keywords: Television summary, Meaning of Television , Television notes, Television explanation,Television analysis.