Judith Viorst

(February 2, 1931)

If I Were In Charge of the World


If I were in charge of the world
I'd cancel oatmeal,
Monday mornings,
Allergy shots, and also Sara Steinberg.

If I were in charge of the world
There'd be brighter nights lights,
Healthier hamsters, and
Basketball baskets forty eight inches lower.

If I were in charge of the world
You wouldn't have lonely.
You wouldn't have clean.
You wouldn't have bedtimes.
Or "Don't punch your sister."
You wouldn't even have sisters.

If I were in charge of the world
A chocolate sundae with whipped cream and nuts would be a vegetable
All 007 movies would be G,
And a person who sometimes forgot to brush,
And sometimes forgot to flush,
Would still be allowed to be
In charge of the world.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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# 209 poem on top 500 Poems


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  • Rookie Blue Swell (6/19/2012 7:13:00 PM)

    my nine year old rewrote this poem today in her class as part of an assignment.
    and the last stanza she came up with reads thus:

    If I were in charge of the world
    Movies that I love would have a sequel
    And all vitamin drinks would taste like soda
    And a person who scribbled on the wall
    And a person who said they would always be small
    Would still be allowed to be in charge of the world

    Cheers (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 10,094 Points * Sunprincess * (6/5/2014 8:30:00 PM)

    ..........believe your last stanza is much better....

  • Rookie Edith Heilmann (5/2/2009 9:32:00 AM)

    I have my students read and then rewrite this poem to teach the concept of absolute monarchy in medieval history. They can do ANYTHING they want if they are king or queen. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Poems Poems Poems Poems (8/27/2008 5:18:00 PM)

    That poem is so good. My teacher showed us the poem in the first place and its good for 5th graders to read and write about this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Raynette Eitel (2/6/2007 2:05:00 PM)

    Judith Viorst is a contemporary poet's answer to Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash. She is simply delightful, witty, and has a good understanding on how too put it all together in a first-rate poem.

    Raynette (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

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