One Inch Tall
If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.
If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.
You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write--'
Cause I'm just one inch tall).
T-title: the title of the poem is ‘One Inch Tall.’ All we can predict from the title is that poet would describe the life of a one-inch-tall man, so the poem will not have much deep meaning.
P-paraphrase: As it can be predicted from the title, the poem treats about what would happen if a man is one inch tall. The poet, Shel Silverstein, describes humorous experience and the difficulties an one-inch-tall man would face. However, at the end, he changed the topic to himself; he says it took 14 years to write down the poem because he is one inch tall.
C-connotation: motif and metaphor – ‘one-inch-tall’ is used twice in each stanzas and it
used as metaphor to describe the poets mental.
Rhyme scheme – In the pattern of ‘aabbbc ddeeec ffggg’ the poet used rhymes.
A-attitude: The poem is very cheerful and playful at the beginning, but the tone of the poem changes into rather grave tone at the end because of the change in the topic.
S-shift: The shift of the poem is the last two lines of the last stanza because of the change in the topic. As I said, he describes the life of an one-inch-tall man, but the at the end, he says how long it took to write down the poem and why. These two lines, or the shift, reveal the true meaning of ‘one inch tall.’ He describes himself as if he is one inch tall to show that his weakness and unsophistication though he is an adult. These lines give the sense of advice to be aware of our weakness.
T-title: ‘One-inch-tall’ is the motif used in the poem, so it would be good to name the poem after the motif. However, this phrase implies another meaning; it is an metaphor that describes the poet’s weakness, which is the true purpose of writing this poem. Therefore, ‘One Inch Tall’ is more descriptive than any other poems.
T-theme: I think it has two theme. One is a one-inch-tall person's life, but this is merely superficial one. I belive the true theme is the confession of the weakness and the acceptance of that a man has weakness because the poet describes himself as a weak person.