Shel Silverstein

Poet Biography Project
Born: 9/25/1930
Died: 5/10/1999

Shel Silverstein was a life-long writer. He wrote not only poems, for which he is famous, but also song lyrics, songs, and plays. He is best known for his children's books - among the most famous being, "Where the Sidewalk Ends", and "Falling Up".

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child, Listen to the don'ts, Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts, Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen child, anything can be." Shel Silverstein.

Two of my favorite poems are as follows:


"I cannot go to school today," said little Peggy Ann McKay. "I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps. My mouth is wet, my throat is dry, I'm going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I've counted sixteen chicken pox and there's one more - that's seventeen, and don't you think my face looks green" My leg is cut, my eyes are blue - It might be instamatic flu. I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke, I'm sure that my left leg is broke - my hip hurts when I move my chin, My belly button's caving in, My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained. My 'pendix pains each time it rains. My nose is cold, my toes are numb, I have a sliver in my thumb. My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight, my temperature is one - o - eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There is a hole inside my ear. I have a hangnail, and my heart is------

What's that? What's that you say? You say today is .... Saturday? G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

No Difference

Small as a peanut, Big as a giant, We're all the same size when we turn off the light.

Rich as a sultan, poor as a mite, We're all worth the same, when we turn off the light.

Red, black, or orange, yellow, or white, We all look the same, when we turn off the light.

So maybe the way to make everything right, is for God to just reach out, and turn off the light.

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