The Crooked Man Poem

The Crooked Man Poem (A Poem by Mother Goose)

James Orchard Halliwell’s The Crooked Man poem was originally published in print in 1842. The rhyme did not gain popularity until the twentieth century.

The Crooked Man Poem

The Crooked Man Poem

There Was A Crooked Man is a traditional nursery rhyme with a pedagogical purpose.

The picture of “a crooked guy” living in a “small crooked house” expresses several societal conditions. It might be synonymous with being distinctive in some sense. It is all about establishing one’s identity. Everyone has a place in this world.

Its origins are unknown, as are the origins of most nursery rhymes. Some academics believe the poem originated in the village of Lavenham, which is located northeast of London.

There was a Crooked Man

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;

He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

By Mother Goose


Summary of There Was a Crooked Man

The four-line poem starts with a description of a “crooked guy” who “walked a crooked mile.” While wandering, he stumbled upon a “sixpence” that was, predictably, crooked.

The next lines show a “crooked cat” and mouse, as well as the “small crooked home” where they all end up.

Analysis of There Was a Crooked Man

Lines 1-2

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;

The nursery rhyme begins with the famous line in the first lines of ‘There Was a Crooked Man.’ The unidentified speaker introduces a “crooked guy.”

This individual may be twisted in both shape and mentality. The next three words leave up the possibility that he is corrupt or evil in a fundamental sense.

The man then discovered a sixpence coin. It was “contrary to a crooked stile.” Of course, the coin was crooked as well. These coins were fairly thin when this poem was allegedly composed, so they would have bent easily.

The Crooked Man Poem

Lines 3-4

He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

The term “crooked” appears three more times in the poem’s second half. We may also see alliteration in phrases such as “crooked cat” and “caught a crooked.”

After discovering the sixpence coin, the guy probably used it to purchase “a roasted cat.” The joy of the words, the way they sound together, and the bizarre imagery they conjure is clearly the major aim of the writing at this point.

The cat captured a mouse that was likewise “crooked.” “In a small crooked home,” they all lived happily ever after. The excellent rhymes employed throughout this poem are enjoyable to read.


Structure of There Was a Crooked Man

Mother Goose’s There Was a Crooked Man is a four-line nursery rhyme with an AABB rhyme scheme. The length of these lines is likewise extremely similar, ranging from twelve to thirteen syllables.

The finest nursery rhymes, those that last for decades or even centuries, include appealing imagery, are frequently nonsensical, and have a sing-song-like rhyme pattern.

Despite its briefness, ‘There Was a Crooked Man’ has many significant literary approaches. Alliteration and repetition are examples, but not the only ones.

Meaning of There Was a Crooked Man

It’s unclear where this poetry comes from, what it’s about, or which of the many readings is correct. The first, and most usually reported, is that the song was inspired by the town of Lavenham’s uneven dwellings and angles.

According to another understanding, the song was written between 1600 and 1649 during the reign of King Charles I. General Sir Alexander Leslie, a Scottish man who helped gain religious and political independence for Scotland, may or may not be the crooked man.


Similar Poem to the Crooked Man Poem

1. Crooked Man – Traditional

There was a crooked man
Who walked a crooked mile
And he found a crooked sixpence
Against a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat
Who caught a crooked mouse
And they all lived together
In a crooked little house.

But the crooked man was sad
And once he had a thought.
Why should he be crooked,
When others, they were not?

Everything was worthless,
He heaved a great big sigh
And he went and found a rope
And tied it to the sky.

Upon a chair he stood,
His eyes were blank and dead.
Without another thought,
He went and hung his head.

Now the story’s not yet over,
For this tale is mythed and old,
Go hide under the cover…
There’s something not yet told.

There once was a crooked man,
Who had a crooked smile,
And if you’ve lived his life,
He’ll send you through a trial.

He lives for your torment,
Makes it full of strife,
And he won’t be content…

…Until you take your life.

Mother goose has been a generational sensation in modern poetry. This priceless collection shares samples of her thoughts, words and her

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