Friday, August 17, 2007

Poem of the Day

Today ends Shel Silverstein week at Erin's Boredom blog, and to be honest, I'm a bit sad. I’ve loved Shel ever since I read “Who wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?” (I do! They sneak snacks for you and eat bad report cards!). My Grandma Stella purchased it for me, and I remember being excited because I thought it was a coloring book (as with all of his work, it had b&w pencil drawings). My first real introduction to formalized poetry, I memorized the whole book within weeks, and could recite it at will – even now, I still remember the opening page …

Who wants a cheap rhinoceros,
I know one for sale.
With floppy ears and cloppy feet
And a friendly wagging tail.
He’s sweet and cute and huggable,
He’s a quiet as a mouse.
And there’s lots of things that he can do around your house.
For instance ….”

The second book (A Light in the Attic) I received by Shel was probably the most influential on me, and was the reason I started writing my own poems. My grandfather gave it to me for Christmas when I was twelve (It was the last present he ever bought for me, as he died shortly thereafter), and whenever I felt scared or alone, I would read it for inspiration. So to end this series, I’ve saved the introduction from that book (and my most favorite of Shel's poems) for last…

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

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