Two Boxes met upon the road.
Said one unto the other,
“if you’re a box,
And I’m a box,
Then you must be my brother.
Our sides are thin,
We’re cavin’ in,
And we must get no thinner.”
And so two boxes, hand in hand,
Went home to have their dinner.
This poem was taken from Shel Silverstein’s anthology, “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” which is a book of poetry for children. What I enjoy most about this poem is the way it depicts the simplicity of childhood and how children interact with each other. Most children don’t have a concrete idea of the “self” or “identity” growing up and they see the world in terms of basic features. Features such as someone’s hair length, height or eye color. This poem pokes fun at this notion quite literally when the boys notice the other’s shape and come to the conclusion that they must be related by virtue of looking alike. The two boxes in the poem don’t know anything about one another besides for the fact that they are both boxes. They share a bond over the fact that they are the same entities and decide to forge a friendship over that fact. This poem reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, which details the travels of young Alice to ultimately forge her own identity. Alice thinks that her identity can be reflected in her size, but this can’t be the case as she goes through the processes of being rather big and then rather small. She even thinks that her identity can be formed through her name, but she is challenged on that idea as well. So too does this poem asks children to reflect on their own perceptions of themselves and how they perceive others as well. It confronts the reader about perceptions of identity and how we form a closeness with others.
Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Children_in_a_Primary_Education_School.JPG