Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sick, one of the best poems

Sick by Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite children's poems. I love the rhythm of this poem, how it moves from line to line getting more ridiculous as it moves on. I can hear a child thinking about this in the morning before her parents come wake her up and rehearsing parts of it before they come in. Then the big moment, her parents come in her room and the performance begins:

Sick 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!"

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