Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh! The Places You'll Go

I'm sure many of you have read this poem before, but I wanted to share it anyway. While it is not between the whimsical, brightly colored cover of the Dr. Seuss book, the message in this children's poem, is profound to people of all ages. I am currently in a poetry course, and while browsing famous poems to read for a class assignment, I came across this piece, and although I had read it before, I really enjoyed and found meaning in it. So, here it is.

"Oh! The Places You'll Go!"
by Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction
you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know
what you know. And YOU are the
guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets.
Look’em over with care. About
some you will say, “I don’t choose to
go there.” With your head full of
brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down a not-
so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll
want to go down.In that case, of
course, you’ll head straight out of
town. It’s opener there in the wide
open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right
along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar
to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll
have the speed. You’ll pass the
whole gang and you’ll soon take the
lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be
best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s
true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly
perch. And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump. And the
chances are, then, that you’ll be in a

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re
not in for much fun. Un-slumping
yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the
streets are not marked. Some
windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could
sprain both your elbow and chin! Do
you dare to stay out? Do you dare to
go in? How much can you lose? How
much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left
or right…or right-and-three-
quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or
go around back and sneak in from
behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid
you will find, for a mind-maker-
upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll
start in to race down long wiggled
roads at a break-necking pace and
grind on for miles across weirdish
wild space, headed, I fear, toward a
most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to
come, or a plane to go or the mail to
come, or the rain to go or the phone
to ring, or the snow to snow or
waiting around for a Yes or No or
waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or
waiting for wind to fly a kite or
waiting around for Friday night or
waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle
Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better
Break or a string of pearls, or a pair
of pants or a wig with curls, or
Another Chance. Everyone is just

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that
waiting and staying. You’ll find the
bright places where Boom Bands
are playing. With banner flip-
flapping, once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun
to be done! There are points to be s
cored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do
with that ball will make you the
winning-est winner of all. Fame!
You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world
watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because,
sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll
play lonely games too. Games you
can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone
will be something you’ll be quite a

And when you’re alone, there’s a
very good chance you’ll meet things t
hat scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the
road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t
want to go on.

But on you will go though the
weather be foul. On you will go
though your enemies prowl. On you
will go though the Hakken-Kraks
howl. Onward up many a frightening
creek, though your arms may get
sore and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike. And I know
you’ll hike far and face up to your
problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as
you already know. You’ll get mixed
up with many strange birds as you
go. So be sure when you step. Step
with care and great tact and
remember that Life’s a Great
Balancing Act. Just never forget to
be dexterous and deft. And never
mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or
Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van
Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

No comments:

Post a Comment