Poetry Picks

Our pick of the best poems for children and young adults

“Messy Room” by Shel Silverstein (A Light In The Attic)


Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater’s been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or–
Huh? You say it’s mine? Oh, dear,
I knew it looked familiar!


This humorous poem describes a typically messy room of a young boy. It lists all the crazy and messy things found in the room – from a sweater on the floor to one ski beneath the TV and a LIZARD NAMED ED IN THE BED!  At first it seems the reader is talking about someone else’s room and expressing disgust for how untidy it is.  He is full of indignation and disbelief culminating in him repeating again: “Whosever room this is should be ashamed!’

The twist in the poem comes when he is told that it is, in fact, his own room.  Then he shamefacedly says “I knew it looked familiar!”

The poem is a reminder that we shouldn’t judge others because we may in fact be judging ourselves! For more on award winning poet and singer Shel Silverstein, read here. 


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