Selected Poem: ‘Whatifs’ by Shel Silverstein

In these days of uncertainty, made even more so in this present climate , I think everyone can relate to this poem. ‘Whatfs’ is a playful poem relating to our own personal fears and writtten imaginatively from a child’s point of view by American poet, artist, cartoonist and playwright Sheldon Allan Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999).  Known as Shel and Uncle Shelby in some works, Sheldon is known for his work including songs, cartoons and children ‘s books. He has had such an interesting life. Be sure to click on the links below to find out more about him and his poetry.

Sheldon is also known for his cartoons, songs, and children’s books. He has won many awards and his books have sold more than 20million copies. This particular poem appeared in his book /A Light in the Attic’ 1981.

shel sillverstein

‘Whatifs’ by Shel Silverstein

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 talle?
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!  

silverstein

Thanks to:;

Shel Silverstein website

More information on Silverstein here

book image

Video from here

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