Once again, a simple and straightforward and transcendent and beautiful book by Dr. Seuss has been turned into a candy-colored 3-D animated movie with celebrity voices and excruciatingly inappropriate merchandising partners. The Lorax might be better than past efforts to translate the author’s vision to the big screen — EW’s Owen Gleiberman rates it a B+ — but really, the best thing that can possibly come of The Lorax is that it will encourage parents everywhere to buy or (gag) download the book that inspired it. It’s difficult to describe the particular magic of Dr. Seuss’ writing. The author, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, wrote mostly in anapestic tetrameter, a breathless rhythm that made every page feel like a joyful sprint from the classroom to the schoolyard. In honor of the release of The Lorax, here are a few of my personal favorite Seuss quotes.
From Yertle the Turtle, an incredible double line filled with mock-grandiosity that’s essentially a rewrite of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” except with better rhymes:
From On Beyond Zebra, an underrated Seuss book where a kid invents all the letters after Z, thereby letting the corner of Seuss’ brain that enjoyed preventing words run wild:
From The Butter Battle Book, my personal favorite read, because of how eloquently it combines his zany stuff (funny machines!) with a clear-cut message (huzzah for moral relativism!):
And last but not least, a line that can’t help but make your heart hurt a little bit, from Horton Hears a Who!:
Fellow Seuss fans, what are your favorites?
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