Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One Inch Tall

If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write --
'Cause I'm just one inch tall).

-Shel Silverstein

The Googies Are Coming

The googies are coming, the old people say,
To buy little children and take them away.
Fifty cents for fat ones,
Twenty cents for lean ones,
Fifteen cents for dirty ones,
Thirty cents for clean ones,
A nickel each for mean ones.

The googies are coming, and maybe tonight,
To buy little children and lock them up tight.
Eighty cents for husky ones,
Quarter for the weak ones,
Penny each for noisy ones,
A dollar for the meek ones.

Forty cents for happy ones,
Eleven cents for sad ones.
And, kiddies, when they come to buy,
It won't do any good to cry.
But -- just between yourself and I --
They never buy the bad ones!

-Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Me and My Giant

I have a friend who is a giant,
And he lives where the tall weeds grow.
He's high as a mountain and wide as a barn,
And I only come up to his toe, you know,
I only come up to his toe.

When the daylight grows dim I talk with him
Way down in the marshy sands,
And his ear is too far away to hear,
But still he understands, he 'stands,
I know he understands.

For we have a code called the "scratch-tap code,"
And here is what we do --
I scratch his toe . . . once means, "Hello"
And twice means, "How are you?"
Three means, "Does it look like rain?"
Four times means, "Don't cry."
Five times means, "I'll scratch you a joke."
And six times emans, "Goodbye," "Goodbye,"
Six times means, "Goodbye."

And he answers me by tapping his toe --
Once means, "Hello, friend."
Two taps means, "It's very nice to feel your scratch again."
Three taps means, "It's lonely here
With my head in the top of the sky."
Four tas means, "Today an eagle smiled as she flew by."
Five taps meanns, "Oops, I just bumped
my head against the moon."
Six means, "Sigh" and seven means, "Bye"
And eight means, "Come back soon, soon, soon,"
Eight means, "Come back soon."

And then I scratch a thousand times,
And he taps with a bappity-bimm,
And he laughs so hard he shakes the sky --
That means I'm tickling him!

-Shel Silverstein


Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me --
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

-Shel Silverstein


Sandra's seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins' gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself.

-Shel Silverstein

Monday, March 5, 2012

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Fenc'd by these rebel pow'rs that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And Death once dead, there's no more dying then.



I'm not really sure how I feel about the way this poem reads. The language is beautiful, but it just feels a little choppy to me.

What do you think?

One summer evening (led by her) I found
A little boat tied to a willow tree
Within a rocky cave, its usual home. 
Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in
Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice
Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on;
Leaving behind her still, on either side, 
Small circles glittering idly in the moon, 
Until they melted all into one track
Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows, 
Proud of his skill, to reach a chosen point
With an unswerving line, I fixed my view
Upon the summit of a craggy ridge, 
The horizon's utmost boundary; for above
Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky. 
She was an elfin pinnace; lustily 
I dipped my oars into the silent lake, 
And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat
Went heaving through the water like a swan;
When, from behind that craggy steep till then
The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black and huge,
As if with voluntary power instinct
Upreared its head. I struck and struck again, 
And growing still in stature the grim shape
Towered up between me and the stars, and still, 
For so it seemed, with purpose of its own 
And measured motion like a living thing, 
Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,
And through the silent water stole my way
Back to the covert of the willow tree;
There in her mooring-place I left my bark, --
And through the meadows homeward went, in grave
And serious mood; but after I had seen
That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Worked with a dim and undetermined sense
Of unknown modes of being; o'er my thoughts
There hung a darkness, call it solitude
Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes
Remained, no pleasant images of trees, 
Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty forms, that do not live
Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.  



If you are a dreamer, come in, 
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, 
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. 
Come in! 
Come in!

-Shel Silverstein