NPM: PF: On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

It’s funny how the mind works, isn’t it? My mind was on quite a ramble this morning. I was thinking about PF and how I haven’t participated in weeks. I figured this week wouldn’t be much different, as I haven’t been writing much. Then, I was remembering a comment I made to my writing group about trying to write something “light and sprightly” after I’d shared yet another pair of somber, dark poems. I like the word “sprightly” and the sound of it, so I jotted down a bunch of “ight” words in my notebook.

Next, my thoughts turned to my after school Writing Club. This past Monday we started talking about favorite Shel Silverstein poems. Someone mentioned the one about the person who lost their head and ended up giving up looking for it and sitting on it. Another student looked horrified: She clearly was not familiar with the poem. So, of course, we had to dig out “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and share that poem with her, along with a few select others. And I was thinking about how joyful that was and how timeless Shel Silverstein is.

My thoughts wandered along and perhaps “Someone Ate the Baby” (another epic Silverstein poem) was percolating in there somewhere (though we hadn’t shared it), because the phrase “I want to eat you all up!” and potential misunderstandings popped into my head. Somehow it combined with some of those “ight” words and suddenly there was a limerick in my head. It isn’t light and sprightful, but writing it made me giggle. I hope you enjoy it as well.

On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

There once was a baby delightful.
Everyone said they wanted a biteful.
As they cuddled and oohed,
I snuck in and chewed.
And now they all think I am frightful.

©Molly Hogan

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Make sure to stop by to enjoy some poetry as National Poetry Month winds down.

18 thoughts on “NPM: PF: On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

  1. Patty Mclaughlin says:

    Ah, Molly – I laughed aloud

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Denise Krebs says:

    Yes, Molly, that is a Limerick of sprightly excellence. So funny and sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your limerick! Thanks for taking me on your writing journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    Bwahahahaha! That made me laugh out loud. So fun. And, I love a peek into the way your writing brain works. So fun. Truth is…babies are delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    I love what you wrote for us ahead of this marvelous, fun poem, Molly. Silverstein would be laughing aloud just as I am! (Glad you wrote!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hahahahaha! This is awesome! I definitely giggled. (And I can only take Silverstein in very small doses.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rosecappelli says:

    I agree with Linda! I think Silverstein would be proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kd0602 says:

    Reading this yesterday made me realize how much I have been missing your posts, your words, you images. Love your playful poem and the joy you had with your writing club and Shel Silverstein!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    Very fun to follow the wandering path of your thinking to that limerick!


  10. margaretsmn says:

    The spirit of Shel Silverstein is alive and well in you. And in my student Sadie who wants to write these kinds of poems over and over again. Is it a kind of addiction, isn’t it? I never wrote a limerick all month long.


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