Ooo, Goody! Sadism of the Poetic Variety!
When someone entitles an article No Nightmares, Please: Why is so much children's poetry full of sadism and doom?, a person has a right to be suspicious. But author Jeff Gordinier has a good head on his shoulders and a pound of wit to boot. He never discusses children's poetry accurately, of course. I mean, he complains that reading adult poems to kids is problematic and then cites rhyming picture books that don't quite constitute "poetry" per say. No mention of Jack Gantos or Jack Prelutsky, or Nikki Grimes here and that's a pity.
But I do give him points for taking down The Lorax. That there's a book which left me a shaking shivering hollow shell of a seven-year-old after I watched the bizarre cartoon of it years and years ago. Oh! And he seriously does not like The Giving Tree either! Fabulous!
At the end of The Giving Tree, the “boy” has become a wrinkled, whiny, soulless husk, and there is nothing left of the tree, so the boy sits down on the stump to rest his arthritic joints. The end!Sock it to 'em, Gordinier! He even ends with praise for Poetry Speaks To Children. So while he doesn't discuss any actual children's poets seriously (and of all of Silverstein's work, TGT is unfair to single out) at least he gets a couple interesting jabs in.
You know what? Screw that. I’d rather read Tropic of Cancer to my kid than take another spin through The Giving Tree. At least Henry Miller seemed to be having a little fun.
Thanks to Chicken Spaghetti for the link.