The meaning of Emmett Lee Dickinson’s poem “Traveling to London, looking forward” has remained a mystery since the day it was first published. Who was the little brat “Donald” that looked “like a rat”? What or who was “this Baby blimp” gliding over London that made the poet laugh? The answers to these questions have remained unanswered. However, Cecil Ridgewell Throckmorton, the designer of the Trump baby blimp in London was familiar with Dickinson’s poem, and he said that the lines inspired him to create the blimp.
“No one knows for sure the identity of the ‘Donald’ in Dickinson’s lines,” said Throckmorton, “but the story in the poem of a visitor to London observing a wind bag being led around by ropes spoke to me.”
Throckmorton said he had read the poem in his youth when he attended the Emmett Lee Dickinson School for Boys in Pucklechurch in South Gloucestershire.
“This cryptic poem stuck with me through the years,” said Throckmorton, “and when I heard of Donald Trump’s plans to visit London, the idea of a baby blimp popped into me noggin straightaway.”
In addition to inspiring Throckmorton, Dickinson's poem (below on the left) inspired Dickinson's third cousin Emily to pen her poem "Trudging to Eden, looking backward" (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
Traveling to London, looking forward,
I met Somebody’s little Brat
Asked them his name – They barked me
Lordy, does he look like a rat!
How it glided – by ropes that led him –
And that He did look like an imp!
I had to laugh – for so many smiling
New Acquaintance – this Baby blimp –
By Emily Dickinson:
Trudging to Eden, looking backward,
I met Somebody's little Boy
Asked him his name – He lisped me
Lady, did He belong to thee?
Would it comfort – to know I met him –
And that He didn't look afraid?
I couldn't weep – for so many smiling
New Acquaintance – this Baby made –