Poetry Wednesday: Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein has been part of my life since my parents first read Free to Be . . .You and Me*, and let me put the record album on my Mickey Mouse portable turntable.  I was given Where the Sidewalk Ends for Christmas the year it came out.

That’s a long time.

Mr. Silverstein is the reason I know how to make a hippopotamus sandwich and how to eat a whale.  He’s the reason my favorite empty threat is to sell my kids to the Gypsies (“But, Mommy, they never buy the bad ones!”).  And he’s the reason I know wishing for wishes is a bad idea and unicorns aren’t too bright.

It doesn’t matter that Runny Babbit gives me aneurysms and The Giving Tree doesn’t quite work for me.**

His poetry does.

Magic
(Shel Silverstein)

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

I almost went with the Tall Tale Kid here, but just feel the rhythms in this one:


The Garden

(Shel Silverstein)

Ol’ man Simon, planted a diamond,
Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.
Sprouts all growin’, comin’ up glowin’,
Fruit of jewels all shinin’ in the sun.
Colors of the rainbow,
See the sun and rain grow
Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines,
Grapes of jade, just
Ready for the squeezin’ into green jade wine.
Pure gold corn there,
Blowin’ in the warm air,
Ol’ crow nibblin’ on the amnythyst seeds.
In between the diamonds, ol’ man Simon
Crawls about pullin’ out platinum weeds.
Pink pearl berries,
All you can carry,
Put ’em in a bushel and
Haul ’em into town.
Up in the tree there’s
Opal nuts and gold pears–
Hurry quick, grab a stick
And shake some down.
Take a silver tater,
Emerald tomater,
Fresh plump coral melons
Hangin’ in reach.
Ol’ man Simon,
Diggin’ in his diamonds,
Stops and rests and dreams about
One…real…peach.

A special brownie point to anyone who can name the poem that goes with the image at the top of this post!

What’s your favorite Shel Silverstein poem?  Or, in the unlikely event you don’t have one, why not?

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*And what the hell is that title song doing in a Target commercial?  Don’t answer that, please, I’m too busy to blow a gasket right now.

** This is Poetry Wednesday, not Sarah Explains the Difference Between Unconditional Love and Profound Co-dependence Wednesday.

Random Thursday, with 76% more Technology Content

After much debate and a desperate e-mail to the fabulous and infinitely patient Sarah Wendell over at Smart Bitches, I’ve decided to get a Sony Touch.  I thought I might spring for the Daily Edition with free 3G and WiFi, but I’ve decided that it’s not worth the extra bucks.  All I want is to conserve shelf space by keeping as many virtual reference books as possible and save on chiropractors by not lugging my manuscript or Netbook around in my bag when I want to make notes or edit on the go.  Don’t need bells and whistles for that.

Besides, I’m beginning to think that WiFi is the root of all time suck . . . Wow—that sounded a lot dirtier than I thought it would.

oooOOOooo

My family is on a Shel Silverstein kick right now.

I love all of Mr.  Silverstein’s  work with the sole exception of Runny Babbit.  I’m incapable of reading it the way it’s printed on the page and trying for more than three minutes gives me stabbing pains in my left eye and a queasy stomach.

Naturally, my children adore Runny and his aneurysm-inducing adventures , so I have passed the responsibility for the reading of this book to the other adults in our immediate vicinity, in addition to Fox in Socks* and Amelia Bedelia.**

oooOOOooo

I was searching the 1930s newspaper microfilm the other day and caught sight of a one-panel cartoon called The Girls, which features ladies of a certain age and outlook.

In this one, the lady was trying on hats in a shop and telling her impatient husband in the caption, “No, I’ve made my final decision.  Now I have to make every decision that comes after that.”

It may have been microfilm-daze, but that sounded incredibly profound to me.

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Twitter-training this afternoon for the library’s new feed!  Judging from the verbal staff observations around here, it’s just as well our tweets are moderated by the PR department.  Our library already has over 200 followers.  I have no idea whether that’s good or not.

The training was so interesting that I thought about reactivating my personal account, which I let lapse after three days of absolutely nothing to say—stop laughing.

I don’t know if I need to be on Twitter right now—I do follow several people, just not through an account.  Blogs are honestly more my speed.

If my phone could do anything but make phone calls, I might consider trying again . . . but on second thought,  see unfortunately-phrased time-suck comment above.

Plus, there’s a certain observer-mindset that comes with twitter . . .  I’d like to think that if someone fainted in front of me, I wouldn’t be too busy tweeting about it to help them.

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Someone left a gold glitter pen at our public desk a few days ago—we had a crowd of junior high school students on Saturday.  No one called to ask about it so it’s mine.

It has an incredibly smooth flow, which is my excuse for using it for everything from initialing order forms to taking meeting minutes.  I’m planning to go to the office supply store and see if there are any available without the glitter, but if not, well  . . . do they sell navy blue or black glitter pens?

This isn’t a mid-life crisis, by the way—I don’t have one of those scheduled for another forty years.  You might want to stick around—it’s gonna be a doozy.  And mostly likely will not involve glitter pens . . . though I’m not entirely ruling out their use.

oooOOOooo

If you hover over my avatar in the left-hand corner up there, supposing I haven’t changed my blog theme, you’ll see the name of the song I’m currently whistling or humming under my breath. 

See?  Who needs Twitter? 

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*Except for the Tweedle Beetle Battle, which in our household is traditionally done in Rock Horror-style chorus.

**After seven years, I’m tired of Amelia Bedelia—but these books  seriously drive my mother up a tree. “She’s just so dumb,” she wails, when presented with one of Miss Bedelia’s adventures by one of her insistent grandchildren.  “Any normal human being would stop and think.”   I believe that my mother’s secret reason for supporting early childhood literacy is so kids will quickly learn to read this series all by themselves.  Silently.