This the the poem I read to the kids tonight in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day:
By Shel Silverstein
Oh, the blithery, blathery pirate
(His name, I believe, is Claude),
His manner is sullen and irate,
And his humor is vulgar and broad.
He has often been known to imprison
His friends in the hold dark and dank,
Or lash them up high on the mizzen,
Or force them to stroll down a plank.
He will selfishly ask you to dig up
Some barrels of ill-gotten gold,
And if you so much as just higgup,
He’ll leave you to fill up the hole.
He may cast you adrift in a rowboat
(He has no reaction to tears)
Or put you ashore without NO boat
On an island and leave you for years.
He’s a rotter, a wretch and a sinner,
He’s foul as a fellow can be,
But if you invite him to dinner,
Oh, please sit him next to me!
We picked up a used copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, and Evie and I recently finished reading it.
Although Evie is a little young for it, it went over surprisingly well. There are a few poems that seemed to have captured her imagination, specifically “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too”, “Hungry Mungry”, and “The Unicorn”, among many others.
Actually, I forgot how much I liked this book until I was re-reading it with her. It really took me back to my childhood, when I read this book innumerable times. I felt like each time I turned the page I thought, “Oh yeah! This one!” It felt pretty special to share those with her. And here it was something I had almost completely forgotten about!
Shel Silverstein has a lot of famous books, but the two best in my opinion are “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and A Light in the Attic”.
I don’t know that I’ve ever met anybody that didn’t like the poetry of Shel Silverstein, and I kind of feel like these books are part of the pop-culture landscape of my childhood, in that pretty much everybody was familiar with them. I hope that my kids enjoy them as much as I did when I was a kid.
Based on Evie’s reaction to “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, it seems likely.