Hug O' War

a poem by the late Shel Silverstein
[Author of A Light in the Attic]

I will not play at tug o' war

I'd rather play at hug o' war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses

And everyone grins

And everyone cuddles

And everyone wins.

Shel Silverstein, the gifted and versatile favorite of children and adults, died suddenly in May, 1999. This profound poem comments on violence and love from a child's perspective, clearly expressing the preference for and goodness of one over the other. A generous but subtle gift is found in the last line. It is the profit shared through cooperation which is denied at least half of us when we compete.

"Hug O' War" is borrowed from Where the Sidewalk Ends: the poems & drawings of Shel Silverstein, published by Harper & Row Junior Books, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022. Copyright © 1974 by Evil Eye Music, Inc.