Sunday, September 25, 2011

Celebrating Shel Silverstein

Image by Salvatore Vuono via

He was a rhymer of flax-golden tales,
'bout things as silly as biting your nails
but when he was young he dreamt of baseball
not writing for children - no, not at all.

He drew cartoons to "Take Ten" in the war.
When he got back, for Playboy he drew more.
He wrote and drew for them quite a long time,
then wrote for kids.  No one cared.  It was fine.

He was a singer and writer of songs,
a dreamer of dreams where rights reverse wrongs,
a recluse rock star who shared his talent,
with those who knew his lyrics were valiant.

He was and is and he always will be
a source of much inspiration for me.
Though not alive to celebrate today,
I'd like to wish Shel a Happy Birthday.

© Rachel Hoyt 2011.  All rights reserved.

for Shel Silverstein
September 25, 1930 - May 10, 1999

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This rhyme is being shared at the Poetry Pantry.
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  1. What a great tribute. Nicely done. I just noticed that he passed away on May 10th, so did my dad. Another year but still.

  2. I loved Shel Silverstein, and A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends more times then I can remember as a kid. Unfortunately, I don't own a copy of either now, but I think you've persuaded me that I should buy them at the next opportunity.

    I remember the illustrations were always kind of freaky. I'm assuming Silverstein didn't draw those himself. Do you know who did?

  3. that should be "...and I Read A Light in the Attic.."

    The typo gremlins are out in full force today.

  4. Really nice tribute today
    Such fun rhyme play
    Sure it would be appreciated
    And never depreciated

  5. Thanks for the tribute to one of my favorite authors and poets! I always buy Shel Silverstein books for kids to introduce them to poetry and get them hooked!

  6. @ayala - They actually aren't certain what day Shel died because no one was there. He died alone of a heart attack. :(

    @Bryan - Those drawings were Shel's also. They look less creepy now that I'm older. I don't have most of the books these days either (but get them from the library a lot). I'm building my collection slowly. :)

    @Pat Hatt - I hope Shel and his family feel the love and that he's smiling down from above. :)

    @Lolamouse - I couldn't skip Shel's birthday! I missed it last year and was super sad. :P

  7. On this day, we might as well be

    Writing rhymes for Uncle Shelby.

  8. @Madeleine - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    @Joey Polanski - I totally agree Mr. Polanski. :)

  9. Shel Silverstein is great! My favorite is "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out"

  10. there was a time when i couldn't understand then there is now where i can with the at hand...

    Happy Birthday Mate

    And Cheers RH


  11. Love, love, love your poem! You described this talented man perfectly. :)

  12. My wife was a teacher and loves Shel nice remembrance

  13. @Eric 'Bubba' Alder - I'm not sure I could pick ONE favorite, but I really really like "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out". :)

    @BlogNostics - I'm glad that now you can understand, the wisdom that comes from Shel's rhyming hand. :)

    @Martha - I'm so glad you enjoyed it! He was definitely multi-talented. :)

    @Jim - Thanks for reading! I'm glad you (and your wife?) enjoyed the tribute. :)

  14. Very sweet. I did not realize he wrote for Playboy but I love your comment about that: "No one cared. It was fine." haha!

  15. Thanks for sharing that bit of info about Shel... a dreamer of dreams.. i like this line.

  16. shel is awesome! def an early inspiration for me in my poetry...he always left me with a smile...great tribute....

  17. @Dangerous Linda - I'm glad you like the way I wrote that! It's pretty awesome that no one seems to know. :)

    @Heaven - Thank you! That's one of my favorite lines in this one too. :)

    @Brian - I'm glad you enjoyed the tribute! Shel IS awesome. :)


Rhyming or not, I would like a lot to hear the thoughts my words brought...