Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Wisdom From Children's Literature

We have moved to half days in school. The fourth grade class only has one test and one “investigation” left to do, and then we’re finished for the year! It’s crazy to think so much time has gone by... It’s almost been a year since my grand ol’ Harding days. 

After our Oxford Book of Illustrated Poems was finished, I borrowed Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends from the Kennell household and not a school day has passed since without a poem. Today’s poems were intense for me to read. Perhaps I’m simply emotional and connecting with these poems because of life circumstances, or perhaps I am not alone in the world and Mr. Silverstein has been able to express what’s in my heart even when I cannot. I could take the time to explain why each of these is so profound to me, but I’d rather just let you love them for what they say to you. Enjoy!

From Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

“Just Me, Just Me”

Sweet Marie, she loves just me
(She also loves Maurice McGhee).
No she don’t, she loves just me
(She also loves Louise Dupree).
No she don’t, she loves just me
(She also loves the willow tree).
No she don’t, she loves just me!
(Poor, poor fool, why can’t you see
She can love others and still love thee.)

“The One Who Stayed”

You should have heard the old men cry,
You should have heard the biddies
When that sad stranger raised his flute
And piped away the kiddies.
Katy, Tommy, Meg and Bob
Followed, skipping gaily,
Red-haired Ruth, my brother Rob,
And little crippled Bailey,
John and Nils and Cousin Claire,
Dancin’, spinnin’, turnin’
‘Cross the hills to God knows where-
They never came returnin’.
‘Cross the hills to God knows where
The piper pranced, a leadin’
Each child in Hamlin Town but me,
And I stayed home unheedin’.
My papa says that I was blest
For if that music found me,
I’d be witch-cast like all the rest.
This town grows old around me.
I cannot say I did not hear
That sound so haunting hollow-
I heard, I heard, I heard it clear...
I was afraid to follow.”

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