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.