"Look like a girl. Act like a lady. Think like a man. Work like a boss." ~Anonymous

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hug O' War

Author’s Note: As a kid Shel Silverstein was one of my favorite poets and his books seemed to speak to me in such a subtle way, teaching me valuable lessons even though I didn’t yet realize it. This is based off one of my favorite poems by him. Please pay close attention to the body paragraph transitions, topic sentences, and conclusion.

This particular poem was meant as a valuable message for younger children, and deep down they comprehend the words the author is trying to stress through rhymes. I remember carrying around this huge book of poems as a kid; I would sit mesmerized by how to words all tied together, and point out the sloppy sketches that were scattered across the pages. His words spoke to me, even if I didn’t realize it then, and this is just one example of how the simple vocabulary ties into a much bigger concept.

“I will not play at Tug O’ War,” is one example of a simple statement used in this poem, yet it means to me, at least, that this character is standing up for what he believes in. He refuses to participate in such activity, no matter how many people try to sway him in the opposing direction. “I’d rather play at Hug O’ War,” it may seem like any old alternative suggestion, but if you take a second to examine it you will see it is much more. It’s a deceleration of peace, a promise, almost, that defines who you are as a person. The last line clearly sums up the whole point of this poem by stating, “And everyone wins.” Not only is the decision to play nice rather than fight the better choice, but the one where everyone benefits from the results.

Even little kids, are bound to get a gist of this simple, yet valuable meaning the author is trying to portray. His words are not exactly a variety of top-list vocabulary, but it doesn’t need to be, the message is still there. While for some people the point of this clicks immediately, others stand oblivious to the message that is still there, though buried under the impression of a fun, silly poem. Overall, I guess what I’m really trying to stress here is everything written teaches some kind of lesson, and this is a early piece trying to get kids to understand at a young age that there doesn’t have to be fighting, its always good to know you have other options.

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