Beloved children's poet Shel Silverstein has penned some fantastically quirky books filled with funny illustrations. His poems, seemingly light and frivolous, are quite the opposite. In a seemingly effortless stream of silliness, incredibly important messages of resilience, imagination, love, acceptance, friendship and failure unfold in every single one of Shel Silverstein's poems.
Shel Silverstein Quotes & Poems
"Tell me I'm clever,
Tell me I'm kind,
Tell me I'm talented,
Tell me I'm cute,
Tell me I'm sensitive,
Graceful and Wise,
Tell me I'm perfect -
But tell me the TRUTH."
“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."
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em."
“Underneath my outside face
There's a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me."
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start."
“All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' In The Sun,
Talkin' 'Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done...
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did"
There's really nothing to it,
I tell you what to do,
And you do it."
“I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins."
It speaks for itself.
You only muddle it
by talking about it."
“If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean-buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
When the light turns red,
But what do you do
when the light turns blue
with orange and lavender spots?"
brownish pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
but I'm told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
but its silver when its wet, and all colors I am inside
have not been invented yet."
“And he didn't really know where he was going,
but he did know he was going somewhere,
because you really have to go somewhere,
“She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME
And she grew so tall,
She ate from a plate called TASTE ME
And down she shrank so small.
And so she changed, while other folks
Never tried nothin' at all."
“There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you--just listen to
The voice that speaks inside"
“If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
THINKING you can just ain't enough!"
“Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before."
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you’re a bird, be an early early bird--
But if you're a worm, sleep late."
Someone might see.
Won't you please
Hold toes with me?"
“When I am gone, what will you do?
Who will write and draw for you?
Someone smarter--someone new?
Someone better--maybe YOU!"
not to not do something."
Worked my tail off
Cried my eyes out
Walked my feet off
Sang my heat out
So you see,
There's really not much left of me."