Little Jack Horner

Little Jack Horner

by Mother Goose

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, “What a good boy am I!”

Summary of Little Jack Horner

  • Popularity of the Poem, “Little Jack Horner”: This rhyme, along with many others, is also credited to Mother Goose, a famous imaginary author of French fairy tales and nursery rhymes. It was first published in the 17th The poem is about a naughty boy who enjoys eating his delicious Christmas pie before anyone else. Similar to most rhymes, it doesn’t have a solid origin. This rhyme is taught to preprimary children in most countries.
  • “Little Jack Horner”, As a Representative of Wonder: The little boy Jack, happily takes out his Christmas pie and starts eating it. In spite of stealing the plum from the pie, he defends his actions. The boy concludes that he is a nice boy. The poem seems to be simple. However, it speaks about the historical period when King Henry VIII was dissolving his monasteries, and Jack Horner was sent to London with a gift of Christmas pie in which there were the title deeds to twelve manors. The boy seemed to open that pie, which is compared to the deeds of the manors.
  • Major Themes in “Little Jack Horner”: Wonder and naughtiness are the major themes of this poem. The poet describes the happiness of the boy after stealing a plum from the pie. He silently sits in a corner and enjoys his delicious food. He gets really happy and praises himself for pulling out the plum. Jack shows his dishonesty and pride in stealing. He did not perform his duty well.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “Little Jack Horner”

Literary devices are tools used by writers and poets to convey their emotions, feelings, and ideas to the readers. Mother Goose has also used some literary devices in this rhyme. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been given below.

  1. Symbolism: Symbolism is a use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings different from their literal meanings. Christmas pie symbolizes his joy.
  2. Imagery: Imagery is used to make the readers perceive things with their five senses. For example, “Sat in the corner “Eating a Christmas pie” and “And pulled out a plum.”
  3. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /h/ in “He put in his thumb.”
  4. Assonance: An assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /uh/ in “And pulled out a plum”.
  5. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonance sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /l/ in “And pulled out a plum”.
  6. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; instead, it is continued in the next line. For example,

“Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie.”

Analysis of Poetic Devices in “Little Jack Horner”:

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this rhyme.

  1. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There is one stanza in this rhyme, with six lines.
  2. Sestet: A sestet is a six lined stanza borrowed from Italian poetry. The poem comprises only one sestet.
  3. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. For example, “Horner/corner” and “thumb/plum.”

Quotes to be used

The lines stated below are suitable for parents as an example to teach their children a lesson that good children eat their food silently. Also, a moral lesson not to steal food. You can also teach phonics to the children.

“Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, “What a good boy am I.”