Shel Silverstein


Poet, Writer, Composer, Singer, Musician, and Artist

Chicago, Illinois   *   1930  *  Uncle Shelby

Shel Silverstein wrote hundreds of poems and published many books.  He is most famous as a writer of books for children.  He won several awards for his children’s books.  But he also wrote many stories and created many drawings for adults.

Shel Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois in nineteen thirty.  His birth name was Sheldon Allan Silverstein.  Sometimes he called himself Uncle Shelby.  He never planned to write children’s books.  Still, he is most famous for writing them.

One Inch Tall

If you were only one inch tall,
you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be
your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall,
you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month
to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink
upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama,
you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write-- 
'Cause I'm just one inch tall).