Poetry Friday: Listen to the Mustn’ts


It’s been a very exciting week around these parts – my picture book Wild One was selected by the Ontario Library Association as one of their Best Bets of 2017! It’s quite a thrill to be recognized by fellow librarians, and there’s some great books on the list! You can find the entire list here.

I’ve recently been reminded of a classic poem by the legendary Shel Silverstein that perfectly sums up my experiences in the past few months. I honestly never in a million years thought that I would ever publish anything, not to mention something that other people would connect with. I loved writing as a girl, but as someone who’s intensely critical of their own work, and whose self confidence could use a bit of work, I never, ever thought that my childhood dream of having a book in the library would ever come true.

Well, my friends, if you’ve ever felt the same way, these words are for you.

Listen To The MUSTN’TS

By Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/listen-to-the-mustnts-by-shel-silverstein

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  • Reply Tabatha

    Congratulations!! I’m happy for you!
    Wise words from Shel Silverstein!

    February 9, 2018 at 11:31 am
  • Reply lindabaie

    Perfect from deal Shel, & for you, too, Jane. I’m so happy for you and congrats on the book making that list! That.Is.Fabulous!

    February 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm
  • Reply Brenda Davis Harsham

    Yay for you!! So happy for you. I love that poem.

    February 9, 2018 at 7:34 pm
  • Reply books4learning

    I love Shel Silverstein. I don’t think I have ever read that one before today. I need it today–doubting myself. Congrats on your book and recognition.

    February 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm
  • Reply jama

    Yay for Wild One! Congratulations, Jane!!

    February 9, 2018 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Linda Mitchell

    I’ve really enjoyed seeing the celebration of Wild One on twitter. I’m so thrilled for you and your readers. Enjoy every moment…and keep writing, kid!

    February 10, 2018 at 1:52 am
  • Reply Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    Congratulations to you and to Wild One! That is fantastic! And I’ve always loved that Silverstein poem.

    February 10, 2018 at 2:19 am
  • Reply mbhmaine

    Congratulations, Jane! What wonderful accomplishments–your book and the recognition! I’m so glad you tuned into possibility instead of to the “mustnt’s.”

    February 10, 2018 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply maryleehahn

    Amen…and CONGRATS!!

    February 10, 2018 at 1:06 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you!! It can be so hard not to listen to all the naysayers, especially when those voices of negativity are in our own head!! But in the end, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? 🙂

      February 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm
  • Reply Diane Mayr

    From one librarian to another, I’m so happy for you, Jane! I wrote up an order card for Wild One–I hope B & T carries it!

    February 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Well, I know Amazon and Barnes and Noble will in the US of A, and hopefully others, too!! Thank you so much for the support – it’s so wonderful to connect with other librarians, honestly, that’s the most exciting feeling!!

      February 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm
  • Reply Robyn Hood Black

    CONGRATULATIONS, Jane! Glad you didn’t listen too closely to those Musn’ts…..:0)

    February 11, 2018 at 3:03 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you! It isn’t always easy to block out the negativity, but it can make all the difference in the world!

      February 15, 2018 at 9:20 pm
  • Reply Heidi Mordhorst

    Tremendous congratulations to you, Jane. You’re a real wild one, it turns out!

    February 11, 2018 at 9:51 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you! Yup, according to my mum, I definitely channelled more than a bit of my youthful self into that character! 🙂

      February 15, 2018 at 9:20 pm
  • Reply Sally Murphy (@sallymurphy)

    Congratulations, Jane. I’m glad you listened to Shel!

    February 12, 2018 at 12:56 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you, so am I! I hope we all do!

      February 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm
  • Reply Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Congratulations, Jane! Well done on showing those mustn’ts a thing or two about the power of dreams. 😀

    February 12, 2018 at 3:21 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Exactly!! I love the simplicity of this poem – not a single wasted word, for maximum impact.

      February 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm
  • Reply Sarah Grace Tuttle

    Congratulations! Also, this is a wonderful poem and reminder. Thank you!

    February 12, 2018 at 1:40 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you!! It’s definitely a much-needed reminder for all of us!

      February 15, 2018 at 9:18 pm

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