Review on Little Poem : “Obedient”

Cover of Falling Up by Mr.Shel Silverstein

Before I said anything about “Obedient” poem by Mr.Shel Silverstein, you gotta read this nice poem, though gives me a bit creeps, about a kid who tried hard to obey his teacher. As usual, this unique poem is written by Mr.Shel Silverstein, in one of his books, titled “Falling Up.” Here we go!


Teacher said,  “You don’t obey.

You fidget and twidget

And won’t sit down.

So go stand in the corner now

‘Til I say you can turn around.”

So there I stood ’til it got dark

Without a whimper or a tear,

‘Til everybody else went home.

I guess that she forgot me here.

And that was Friday, so I stayed

All through the weekend – bein’ good,

And Monday was the first day of

Summer vacation, so I stood

Through hot July and sticky August,

Tryin to obey her rule.

Stood right there until September,

When – yikes – they closed down the school!

Boarded up the doors and windows,

Moved to a new one way ‘cross the town.

So here I’ve stood for forty years

In dark and dust and creaky sounds,

Waiting for her to say, “Turn around.”

This might not be just what she meant,

But me – I’m so obedient

Ouch, it gives me creeps if I imagine a kid waits for forty years, it’s like one day adding many many many days over. In the other hand, of course we can always conclude that it’s not true and suddenly it becomes funny. This poem contains a sarcasm over parents or another part of authority who only wants children to be obedient.


Well, it’s ridiculous! Children, however small they are, just like adults, they are human. All of us, as long as have a human’s blood rushed in our body, will never be able to obey perfectly. I mean, we all have brain and we use them to think, how can we ever be obedient just like car or toys with remote control. Totally unreasonable!


Mr.Shel Silverstein also thought so, I bet. In poem I wrote thereinbefore, he mentioned how the student who always go fidget and twidget and can’t obey has finally obeyed her, just like the silly teacher did. The student obey and obey, until 40 years, because the teacher already forgot about him/her!


Well, it can only mean one thing, sometimes we got to consider the situation every now and then and it’s okay to ask really carefully about something to your teacher or your parents. You can see it when Mr.Shel Silverstein said the second last line, “This might not be just what she meant.” And it’s so true, I mean, you can’t let the same thing happens to you as the student in the poem!


Mr.Shel Silverstein always wrote a phenomenal poems, because it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, sometime it gives you creeps, sometime it gives you laugh. However it is, Mr.Shel Silverstein always saw the other side of childhood and let us be crazy or silly, I bet he would be okay with all that, given all the poems he has written. Other authors always talk about moral, about kindness, or so, in a way they might be forgotten how everyone as a child used to be, full of jokes!


In my son’s opinion, hie poems are funny! And you gotta see his illustration in this book; it’s very unique. I can’t decide whether it’s beautiful or cute, it’s just very different. For adults like me, some of them can be creepy, but my son loves them and think they’re funny. Hm!


(Check his other poem here :


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