Archive for May, 2011

May 10, 2011

Remembering a Master of Whimsy

September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999

The book Where the Sidewalk Ends delighted me to no end.  It was, in fact, the first time  I understood the power and joy of words and illustration.  My favorite…

by Shel Silverstein

"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!"
From Shel Silverstein: Poems and Drawings; originally appeared in Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Copyright © 2003 by HarperCollins Children’s Books. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Shell Silverstein had a varied and illustrious career. From poet, to play-write (worked with Mamet , not too shabby.) and songwriter ; who can forget A Boy Named Sue?   But for me, it was Where the Sidewalk Ends that will always be in my heart.  The beginning of my love affairs with words and whimsy.  Thank you Shel, you are missed.

p.s. a little piece of Shel Silverstein goes on …