The Sloth (transcript)

5th-Grade Student: I’m gonna read first.

“The Sloth,” by Theodore Roethke

In moving slow he has no Peer.
You ask him something in his Ear,
He thinks about it for a Year;

And, then, before he says a Word
There, upside down (unlike a Bird),
He will assume that you have Heard—

A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug.
But should you call his manner Smug,
He’ll sigh and give his Branch a Hug;

Then off again to Sleep he goes,
Still swaying gently by his Toes,
And you just know he knows he knows.


I like this poem because it’s funny in a way and it really describes the sloth as if you know him, as if he’s your best friend, and it sort of makes you want to go to bed a little bit earlier than you do [audience laughter] because, well, you don’t want to be so slothful like the sloth is. And I like the rhymes.