February 18, 2010

Sew Me a Sail to Catch Me the Wind

Remember reading Shel Silverstein poetry in elementary school? I used to love reading Where the Sidewalk Ends, it was probably one of my favorite books to reread on a regular basis. I thought we had that book in my house somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. We do have Falling Up, however, which is also a great collection of poems.

Some of my favorite poems from Falling Up:


Balancing my ABCs
Takes from noon to half past three.
I don't have time to grab a T
Or even stop to take a P.


1 little monkey
was goin' 2 the store
When he saw a banana 3
He'd never climbed be4.
By 5 o'clock that evenin'
He was 6 with a stomach ache
'Cause 7 green bananas
Was what that monkey 8.

By 9 o'clock that evenin'
That monkey was quite ill,
So 10 we called the doctor
Who was 11 on the hill.
The doctor said, "You're almost dead.
Don't eat green bananas no more."
The sick little monkey groaned and said,
"But that's what I 1-2 the 3-4."


The hand of the clock
Pinched the foot of the bed,
So the foot of the bed
Kicked the seat of the chair,
So the seat of the chair
Sat on the head of the table,
So the head of the table
Bit the leg of the desk,
So the leg of the desk
Bumped the arm of the couch,
So the arm of the couch
Slapped the face of the clock.
And they pinched and they punched
And they banged and they knocked,
And they ripped and they flipped,
And they rolled and they rocked,
And the poor dresser drawer
Got a couple of socks.
There was sawdust and springs
When I turned on the light
After that horrible furniture fight.

And that's the truth, no lie--no joke.
That's how your furniture
All got broke.

Now, this last poem is from Where the Sidewalk Ends and is one of the first non-nursery rhyme poems I had ever memorized.


Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out!
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts...
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall...
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold French fries and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reach so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!"
But then, of course, it was too late...
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!

So, there's that. Hope all is well with you guys.

Title Quote: 'Needles and Pins' - Shel Silverstein


Bryan said...

i LOVE shel silverstein. i used to read his books all the time as a kid. he came out with Runny Babbit a few years ago, and I really want to buy it for myself. Does that seem lame? I don't know. I guess I could just find some appropriate-aged relative of mine, buy the book for them, but read it before i give it to them.

ps, the word verification is carders.
carder (n): one who obsessively hoards cards (playing cards, greeting cards, etc) with the sole intention of giving their archnemesis the deadliest papercut ever.

Alessa said...

Oooooooh one of my favorite authors. I love his work. My favorite book of his was Lafcadio the lion who shot back. I don't have it anymore but I plan on buying it again. LOVED it. Also, I love his short plays as well. The Best Daddy is quite funny when done well.