Opinion: Unleashing the poet within


Step aside, Shel Silverstein! There’s a new poet on the block, and she is me! Or rather, my 8-year-old self. While rummaging through an old scrapbook recently, I discovered a newspaper cutout from 1980. A poem called “Silly Rules” by yours truly, which I will now share, in its entirety, with you, my adoring public:

Do not jump on the beds, dad said,

Do not jump on your sister’s doll’s head.

Do not put your pen in the Jell-O,

Do not hit you sister with a pillow.

Do not go to school without your books,

Do not go fishing without your hooks.

Do not jump on muddy chairs,

Do not talk to bearded bears.

Honestly, I’m pretty impressed. The cadence feels a bit forced in my discerning opinion, and I committed the literary crime of unnecessarily repeating a word with “sister,” the horror. But the creativity? Well done, little Danielle! Pens in Jell-O? Bearded bears? That’s imagination, people.

Is it any wonder, then, that some 40 years later I’ve become a global phenomenon? (If by “global,” I mean the Indy suburbs, and “phenom,” the three bimonthly hate mails I receive). The brilliance has been within me since second grade, just waiting for the new millennium to be unleashed again on the world. You’re welcome.

And I suppose I should thank you, too, for allowing me to unburden my talent each week. My already large head can inflate even further with the amount of awesomeness floating around up there. Of course, now that I’ve recalled my poetry skills, I might have to move on to bigger and better things.

Step aside, Shel Silverstein.

Peace out.


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