Sunday, May 21, 2006

Another Tania Favorite: Shel Silverstein

How does this kid have such good taste in literature? I don't know, but she just gravitates toward the best things ever invented.

I remember reading Shel Silverstein as a kid. I remember feeling like there was some grown-up out there who was on my side. He understood how kids think. When I was in second grade I had to memorize the poem "Sick":

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

I was chosen by my teacher to compete in a speech contest, and had to recite the poem for a bunch of judges. I didn't win, but I think it was a pretty good accomplishment for a second-grader. I picked the poem out myself, and had to come up with facial and hand gestures to go along with the words.

Anyway, I remember that in the 80s, when I was a kid, some parents hated Shel Silverstein! They didn't like the kid humor or some of the gross things he would write about. I'm so glad my parents weren't a part of that crowd.

Well, you can read about Shel Silverstein here. This is his website. Here's a list of his children's books. He has other works as well, which include adult writings and music.

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