Almanac Poetry: Mickey Mouse’s Cranial Vault


Mickey Mouse’s debut film appearance, in the short, Steamboat Willie, 1928. (Source: Wikipedia)


Mickey Mouse’s Cranial Vault


Once, I saw in a book
a series of drawings to scale,
showing, decade by decade,
the increasing size
of Mickey Mouse’s cranial vault.
Over the years, cartoonists
drew his head bigger
in accordance with the mouse
American people wanted.
First, there was the sassy,
small-headed Steamboat Willie mouse
of the late nineteen-twenties,
an era of boundless self-confidence
and insouciant swagger.
But then came Depression,
after that, a World War.
Each time, in response,
Mickey’s head grew larger;
the country needed a more cuddly,
big-headed mouse
to clutch to its collective bosom.
So it has gone through the decades …
No surprise that now
the famous rodent’s head
is like a giant balloon.



(Acknowledgements: first published in The Journal (UK) in 2014, then in Orpheus in the Undershirt, Ginninderra Press, 2018.)


Read more from Kevin Densley HERE


Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE


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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Kevin Densley says

    I wonder if a similar thing happened with other long-lasting cartoon characters.

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