Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Teen

sarah cynthia sylvia teen, sarah cynthia sylvia  stout, shel silverstein, shel silverstein drawing, shel silverstein death date, bio of shel silverstein, poems by shel silverstein Today marks the 14th anniversary of Shel Silverstein’s death (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999).

I grew up treasuring my “Where the Sidewalk” ends book and I wrote poems inspired by his style and quirky subjects. I wrote about shaving cream, making friends with seaweed and other questionable poems as I emulated the master poet and artist. Read a biography of Shel Silverstein here.

I’ve read these poems to my children for over a decade, they’ve been the center of school poetry projects and my old “Where the Sidewalk Ends” book has been well loved; the book jacket tinged yellow at its edges.

One of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems has always been “Sarah Cythia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out.”  (I also love the the King and his Peanut-Butter Sandwich, the Magical Eraser and my kids crack up at the Invisible Boy and Warning – the one about the snail in the nose.)

Since this poem rattles around in my head from time to time, in my frustration at my daughter’s messy bedroom, I began composing this poem. It’s based on my beloved Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout and here I present it in celebration of Shel Silverstein’s life.

SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA TEEN
WOULD NOT KEEP HER BEDROOM CLEAN

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Teen
Would not keep her bedroom clean!
She’d take off the labels, thrown them on floorssarah cynthia sylvia teen, sarah cynthia sylvia  stout, shel silverstein, shel silverstein drawing, shel silverstein death date, bio of shel silverstein, poems by shel silverstein, parodies on shel silversteins poems, poems about messy bedrooms, teens messy bedrooms
Use sticky tape everywhere, all over the doors,
And though her mother would shout and scream,
She simply would not keep her bedroom clean.
And stuff piled up to the bed,
Smelly socks, pants in red,
Hairy brushes, holey jeans,
Stacks and stacks of magazines.
Stuff hung high, stuff thrown low
What hid in the corner, no one could know.
Rolled up wet towels, old lip gloss,
Crumbled deodorant and yards of used floss.
Scraps from projects, homework undone,
Suddenly climbing into bed is not fun.
Hair clips, underwear, bitten nails,
Leftover lunches and coupons for sales,
iPods, iPads, iEverythings
Scattered among baubles, bracelets and rings,
Up over the dressers, all the stuff spilled,
Covering curtains, desk, chairs and sills,
The stuff rolled down the hall,sarah cynthia sylvia teen, sarah cynthia sylvia stout, shel silverstein, shel silverstein drawing, shel silverstein death date, bio of shel silverstein, poems by shel silverstein, parodies on shel silversteins poems, poems about messy bedrooms, teens messy bedrooms, how to get teens to clean up, teen bedrooms,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall …
Empty cups, dried hand cream,
Stacks of ripped and dirty jeans,
Plastic wrappers from granola bars,
Scarves and boots and glowing stars,
Broken trophies, Girl Scout patches,
Millions of socks without any matches,
Winter hats and bathing suits,
Stuffed animals, forgotten, no longer cute,
Cell phone chargers, tangled wires,
The piles of books couldn’t get any higher …
Pencil shavings, Elmer’s glue,
Missing pieces from an old game of Clue,
Professor Plum could not be found,
And Mrs. Peacock was pinned under the mound,
Scrabble pieces spelled new words,
Stuff poured outside where gasps could be heard,
“Look!” they said, “What a slob! What a mess!”
And Sarah longed for her favorite dress,
She wanted to sleep in her four-poster bed,
She wanted glittery bands for her head,
She wanted her books and her private space,
She turned from the mess that she just could not face.
“OK. OK. Now, I’ll clean!”
Said Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Teen,
But then, of course, it was too late …
The stuff reached across the state
From little Rhode Island to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the mess that she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot right now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But, kids, remember Sarah Teen
And always keep your bedroom clean!

 

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7 Responses to Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Teen

  1. This is definitely a favorite classic! Thanks for sharing!

    • Leah DeCesare says:

      Thanks – I had a fun time “rewriting” the poem – though it was trickier than I expected when I first thought to do it! 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. I love Shel Silverstein poems!!!

  3. tracie faithe says:

    I couldn’t be happier to find this memorial ~ and I, too, will commemorate the passing of this beautifully subtle genius…as for me, “The Giving Tree” is still my favorite book ever…

    When I passed on my very-loved, well-worn copy to the miracle daughter I was never supposed to have, it AGAIN made me cry a warm tear.

    Thank you for posting a head’s up of this oh-so-auspicious occasion! This time, just the thought of ol’ Shel (and you!) made me smile very big…

    Tracie Faithe

    P.S.: Pix added to show you we are really real peeps….;-)

    • Leah DeCesare says:

      So happy this struck a chord with you! He has so many that are favorites and bring back so many fond memories!
      Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. […] or herself while you “assist.” They need to understand that although you will help them clean up the mess, they are responsible for their own room. While this may start out as a way to keep their room from […]

  5. […] Unclean bedrooms: Their rooms aren’t being kept up anymore. A once tidy room is now a pig stye. Clothes are strewn all over the floor, beds are no longer made on a regular basis or perhaps not at all. […]

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