Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shel

"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.....

i can still, to this day, recite that entire poem from memory. in fact, i startled myself driving to work yesterday by trying it out loud, sure i would have forgotten some of it, but suddenly i was at the end. it had stuck with me all these years.

Shel Silverstein's poems have a way of doing that - of sticking with you.

that's why i snatched up his new collection, Every Thing On It, even though i sometimes have reservations about books published posthumously. i am going to read it piece by piece, to make it last, but i am already impressed by the arrangement. it feels 100% Shel.

it eases you in with a reminder that, while he's gone, these words are still his.

YEARS FROM NOW
Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing--and I smile.

and it ends with a note that will soften even the hardest-hearted writer. if you don't want the final poem spoiled, stop here. but if you want to read the four lines that gave this writer goose bumps, scroll down...
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WHEN I AM GONE
When I am gone what will you do?
Who will write and draw for you?
Someone smarter--someone new?
Someone better--maybe YOU!

2 comments:

Bee said...

Those last words. Seriously. Whiz.

Linda said...

I love Shel Silverstein. I must have read Where the Sidewalk Ends a dozen times as a kid. Haven't picked up this book yet, but I'd like to at some point.