(National Poetry Month, Day 30)
We wrap up National Poetry Month with a tasty morsel: a favorite poem from middle school forensic competitions of days of yore.
by Shel Silverstein
I’ll sing you a poem of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing—
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.
His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.
His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.
He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.
And then one day he took a bit
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.
His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
“My boy’s committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!”
The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!
The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn’t melt that peanut-butter sandwich.
With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil—
For twenty years of tears and toil—
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.
Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin’ chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.
Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy—
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.
A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak—
The king’s jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak—
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, “How about a peanut-butter sandwich?”