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Local Column

Duchnowski: DeKalb library planning Harry Dumpty poetry contest

The DeKalb Public Library staff had so much fun reading the nursery rhymes in last week’s column about their bronze egg statue that they want you to take a crack at it.

Get it? Egg? Crack? Eh?


Anyway, next month is National Poetry Month, so library staff is going to celebrate by hosting a Harry Dumpty poetry contest, in which contestants young and old can write poems about Humpty Dumpty’s brother.

That’s the character artist Brent George, formerly of DeKalb, ascribed to the statue he created in 1997. Harry Dumpty faces Third Street outside the library’s children’s department entrance and will be moved to the new front courtyard, along with the existing memorial bricks, when the library’s massive expansion project is finished. The expanded library’s entrance will be where Third Street is now, so the entrance will be visible from Lincoln Highway, library spokeswoman Edith Craig said.

Last week, I suggested Harry deserved a nursery rhyme on par with the one that made his brother famous – and apparently, library leaders agree. They will host a contest next month with separate categories for children, teens and adults, seeking poems about the iconic statue. You can send you entries to Craig at; watch for updates on the library’s website at and its Facebook page.

The winner will be recognized at the end of April, receive a small prize, and be invited to read the poem at the library expansion groundbreaking, which likely will happen in late spring or early summer.

In the meantime, here’s a poem I received from Lawrence Nepodahl of DeKalb. I’m glad he decided to share it with me.

Harry Dumpty sat on same wall,
But Harry Dumpty did not have that great fall.
He just sat with a thought and a book by his side,
Thinking of the knowledge that books can provide.

Inspired? Sharpen your pencils, or stretch out your typing fingers, and get creative. It might be over easy, but it’s bound to be a shell of a good time. Don’t let it scramble your brain.

• Jillian Duchnowski is the Daily Chronicle’s news editor. Reach her at 815-756-4841, ext. 2221, or email

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