I recently did a Google search to find pictures of the poet and illustrator Shel Silverstein. I was surprised to find out that some of my friends didn’t know who he was. Surprised, because Silverstein’s books were a big part of my childhood, and i just assume that everyone knows who he is. Aren’t his books in every elementary school in America?
I’ve read his books, A Light in the Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends in school and I was always drawn to the simple line drawings and the silly but and somewhat irreverent tones of the poems. What I found out later (read: a few years ago) was that Shel was also an accomplished songwriter. He wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue”, a song made famous by music icon Johnny Cash.
During the Google image search, I came across the image for his poem “Hug O’ War” This is a poem used to be on the family fridge growing up. My two brothers and I used to practice the Hug O’ War while cleaning the kitchen, just passing by or while setting the table for dinner. The image of the poem was a nice find and a pleasant remembrance of a simpler time. The fact that we used to randomly hug each other was pretty cool. I have three kids now and I can’t image them doing this to each other. I’ll print out the photo of the poem and give it a try though. You never know they may, just like my friends, surprise me.