Saturday Poetry Light, Shel Silverstein on Day 5 of NPM

Whatif by Shel Silverstein
from the book “A Light in the Attic” (1981)

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

 

It’s fun and silly, but it could also be entrance into a writer’s notebook entry about the questions we have and/or a model poem.  You could even have each student write a poem and then take a line from each to make a “class poem” that hangs on the wall.

For more of Shel Silverstein’s poems online: click here.

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