365 People: Day 24 – Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) Poet, Musician, Cartoonist, Author, and more

My children feel jipped in their bed time routine if a Silverstein poem isn’t read to them.  Some of them we know by heart.  Some of them are deemed too disturbing by my six year old, so we skip them.  Regardless, Silverstein’s books of poems are the only books that don’t incite a groan from at least one person in the family when we pick out bedtime literature.  My favorite book is “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.  Most of the “disturbing” poems happen in “A Light in the Attic”.  I wonder what was happening in his life when he wrote that one .

I thought for a while about which poems I would choose to post, but there are just too many.  If I had to pick one, it would be

“Weird Bird”  

Birds are flyin’ south for winter.
Here’s the Weird-Bird headin’ north,
Wings a-flappin’, beak a-chatterin’,
Cold head bobbin’ back ‘n’ forth.
He says, “It’s not that I like ice
Or freezin’ winds and snowy ground.
It’s just sometimes it’s kind of nice
To be the only bird in town.

As a child and now as a grown up, I still love his illustrations.  I know my children will read his books to their children and so on.  It’s probably the only tradition we have effectively established.

Silverstein’s website

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1 comment
  1. sort of reminds me of the penguin heading inland n Werner Herzog’s film to the ends of the earth. Never heard of SS so thanks for this.

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