(Poem #1670) It's Dark in Here
I am writing these poems From inside a lion, And it's rather dark in here. So please excuse the handwriting Which may not be too clear. But this afternoon by the lion's cage I'm afraid I got too near. And I'm writing these lines From inside a lion, And it's rather dark in here.
A bit of nostalgia attached to today's piece - it's the first Silverstein poem I ever read, thanks to it being included in one of my school poetry books. This was way back in my early childhood, when I had no idea who Silverstein was, but my siblings and I all adored the poem and can, to this day, quote it with much glee and amusement. It appears to have started life as a song - you can see the lyrics at [broken link] http://www.banned-width.com/shel/works/lion.html - and there's a charming illustration alongside, though not the one I remember from my textbook. And speaking of Silverstein and textbooks, I'd like to quote a marvellous excerpt from Jim Trelease's "Read Aloud Handbook" that I discovered when searching for today's poem: 'Where the Sidewalk Ends', by Shel Silverstein, is so popular with children, librarians and teachers insist it is the book most frequently stolen from their schools and libraries. Over the last eight years I've asked eighty thousand teachers if they know 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' (two million copies in print), and three-quarters of the teachers raise their hands. "Wonderful!" I say. "Now, who has enough copies of this book for every child in your room?" Nobody raises a hand. In eight years, only eighteen teachers out of eighty thousand had enough copies in their rooms for every child. I continue, "Do each of you know the books in your classroom no child would ever consider stealing?" They nod in recognition. "Do you have enough copies of those books for every child in the room?" Reluctantly, they nod agreement. Here we've got a book kids love to read so much they'll steal it right and left and we haven't got enough copies; but every year we've got twenty-eight copies of a book they hate. -- Jim Trelease, "What's Right or Wrong With Poetry" [broken link] http://www.poets.org/exh/parts.cfm?prmID=81 Check Trelease's website [http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/] out - I think he's just become one of my heroes. martin