Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

The Late Great Shel Silverstein


In honor of National Poetry Month, I would like to share some of my favorite poems with you. I will post different poets throughout the month.

To start things out right… I would like to share “Sick” by Shel Silverstein, one of my all-time favorite poets. It is from his wonderful book called Where the Sidewalk Ends.


“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!”

Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) was a poet, author, songwriter, and playwright. He is best known for his poems and drawings for the young at heart.

If you have never experienced the wonder of Shel Silverstein, I highly recommend it, whatever your age. He was the poet who taught me that poetry didn’t have to be some highbrow thing. It could be accessible and fun and wallow in the every day.

The first page of Where the Sidewalk Ends sets the perfect mood for approaching life —


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!

So, tell me – who are some of your favorite poets?


  1. I got a book by Shel from a friend a couple of birthdays ago – it was fabulous, made me laugh out loud and filled me with exuberance from the tips of my toes to…well, you get the idea. Here’s my poetic review of it:-) And also a link to my top 10 poems, if you fancy checking them out –
    Then again, probably time to update my top 10, as I recently became a major fan of Mary Oliver and Rabindranath Tagore. Have a great week! Blessings, H xxx

    • Love Shel Silverstein! He had such a freedom in his poems, yet there was structure. I will definitely be over to your blog to check out your posts!

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