I remember when I was younger that I loved poetry. Such a huge love that I attempted to write my own. I don’t think I was the best at it but trying is always the first step right? My favorite childhood poet was Shel Silverstein. In searching him, I found out he died in 1999… I think I kind of knew in the back of my mind but it still is sad to lose such a creative soul. This is one of my most favorite poems he wrote. I still quote it everyone once in a while. This poem is called “Sick”:
‘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! ‘
Once I got older and learned more about black history and things like that.. I took a liking to Phyllis Wheatley. But my most favorite African American poet is Langston Hughes. My step-mother bought me my very first book by him and I still have it to this day. Here is my most favorite poem by him called As I Grew Older:
It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun–
And then the wall rose,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky–
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Now that you’ve read some of my favorite poetry, what was your favorite poetry from your childhood? Is there anything you share with your children?
Ashley is a busy mom of two boys and a resident contributor for Taking Time for Mommy – Online Magazine for Mom. She is also the owner of and the little ones too. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.