Sunday, July 17, 2011

Poetry Summer Week 8: Sick by Shel Silverstein

Boy, I'm posting a lot lately--that's what I get for signing up for so many things that require it!

Is anyone else noticing that memorization is getting a LOT easier? I just memorized and passed off Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night in about 30 minutes. Of  course, it has a lot of repetition, and who knows if I'll still have it in my head tomorrow, but I'm duly impressed with myself regardless.

This week's poem is departing (slightly) from the recent theme of death and gloom by talking about faking a sickness to get out of Things We Don't Want to Do. No, I don't empathize with Peggy Ann McKay. I've never recited the first few lines of this poem on particularly harried mornings. Why do you ask?

by Shel Silverstein

"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!"

Chime on in--Peggy Ann is a very strange child/person, no? None of us responsible adults would ever do anything like this, right?


  1. I love this poem! One of my sons was always coming up with some reason not to go to school.

  2. LOVE this poem! I'd forgotten all about it! Thanks for reminding me! Great post!

  3. I wonder if this one would work on my boss.. I'm having the kind of week where I would rather not get out of bed.

    My favorite poem ever is the Jabberwocky. I memorized that in high school for a project. How can you not get sucked in after the first two lines? I love it!

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

  4. Donna--My boys always wake up before me, but I'm still braced for the day they figure this out! :)

    Alexis--isn't it great?

    Kim--I love Jaberwocky! Alas, I've already got it memorized, so I couldn't use it for the Poetry Summer challenge. :)

  5. NEVER! Even if my name is Peggy Ann. :)

  6. Peggy Ann--Such a cool name you have! :) Too bad your last name isn't McKay.

  7. This is one of my favorite Silverstein poems. I also love "Too many kids in this tub" :)

  8. Well I'm happy to say that my name is Peggy Ann McKay...and I feel okay, =)