Poetry Friday: Shel Silvertein’s “Sick”


Beloved children’s poet Shel Silverstein would have celebrated his 83rd birthday earlier this week. Born on Sept. 25, 1930, Silverstein is best known for his poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. But did you know he began his career as a cartoonist for Playboy?

My favorite Silverstein poem is “Sick”


“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…”

Read the rest of the poem here.

Be sure to visit Amy at The Poetry Farm for the weekly round up. Happy Friday, everyone!

9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Shel Silvertein’s “Sick”

  1. Hahaha. The excuses children make to have a reprieve from school. This one’s a hypochondriac indeed (as jama noted), but an imaginative one at that! 🙂 And cartoonist for Playboy, huh. Interesting tidbit.


  2. This was one of my favorites when I was a girl! I read Shel’s biography and found it so interesting. A fascinating and gifted man – I so wish he’d lived to 83 so that we could have learned and laughed with him. Thank you for the Poetry Friday birthday party!


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