The Generals by Shel Silverstein

I recently heard the poem The Generals by Shel Silverstein on Laugh USA on XM Radio, of all places. This poem sums up my thoughts about war quite nicely. The poem is from his book of children’s poetry titled Where the Sidewalk Ends which was first read to me in elementary school. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy his poem as much as I did:

The Generals

Shel Silverstein

Said General Clay to General Gore,

“Oh must we fight this silly war?

To kill and die is such a bore.”

“I quite agree,” said General Gore.

Said General Gore to General Clay,

“We could go to the beach today

And have some ice cream on the way.”

“A grand idea,” said General Clay.

Said General Clay to General Gore,

“We’ll build sand castles on the shore.”

Said General Gore, “We’ll splash and play.”

“Let’s leave right now,” said General Clay.

Said General Gore so General Clay,

“But what if the sea is closed today?

And what if the sand’s been blown away?”

“A dreadful thought,” said General Clay.

Said General Gore to General Clay,

“I’ve always feared the ocean’s spray,

And we may drown!” “It’s true, we may.

It chills my blood,” said General Clay.

Said General Clay to General Gore,

“My bathing suit is slightly tore.

We’d better to on with our war.”

“I quite agree,” said General Gore.

Then General Clay charged General Gore

As bullets flew and cannons roared.

And now, alas! there is no more

Of General Clay or General Gore.

Poetry and Limericks

My NaNoWriMo project includes a mentor character, the Golden Rod character, that gives our hero some advice before his journey. This character isn’t the typical mentor character (I hope) as he has his own reasons for sending our hero on this journey, and is not as forthcoming with the truth as he could be.

Anyhow, I thought an interesting way for Golden Rod to dispense his wisdom would be by talking in Limericks. I did a little searching yesterday and found a page on How to Write a Limerick. It’s a pretty good site and lo and behold I wrote my first limerick. Here it is (please don’t laugh at me, I’m not a poet):

There was a young man from the North,

Who fled his mechanical horse

He started a lad,

But an adventure he’s had,

The young  wee ones to freedom brought forth

Anyhow, it’s not great but I think it will serve it’s purpose in the first draft.

I also found a great book of Fairy Poems (originally published in 1922), Down-adown-derry; a book of fairy poems, as a free .pdf download at the Interned Archive. Check that out if you get the chance.