100 Best Collection Of Poems By The Poet Shel Silverstein

These Shel Silverstein poems will make you find something to identify yourself with no matter what your age is.

Sheldon Allan Silverstein was born onSeptember 25, 1930, was an American poet, songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, playwright, author of children’s books.

Shel Silverstein is one of the most influential poets in the English language. He had a knack for expressing deep emotions through his poetry that touched the hearts of millions of readers.

Poems From Where The Sidewalk Ends Book By Shel Silverstein

Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois to Nathan and Helen Silverstein. His father was a painter who taught him how to sketch. By the time he was 10 years old, he had illustrated some children’s books himself and in 1950, he publishes his first cartoon in a school paper for Roosevelt University.

Silverstein has published more than 30 books for children. His poems and drawings have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold more than 20 million copies. Shel Silverstein is famous for his children’s books, such as “The Giving Tree” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.

Shel Silverstein believed that we should not try and force ourselves to be creative because it will naturally come out in our work when we are happy and fulfilled. In one of his interviews, Silverstein says that his creativity is so important to him that he would rather starve than give it up.

Silverstein has received many allocates including two Grammy and Golden Globe Awards and had several Academy Award nominations.

Here we are sharing a collection of Shel Silverstein poems from some of his famous books like Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and A Light in the Attic.

Shel Silverstein Poems

“So what if nobody came?
I’ll have all the ice cream and tea,
And I’ll laugh with myself,
And I’ll dance with myself,
And I’ll sing, “Happy Birthday to me!”
― Shel Silverstein

“Followin’ the trail on the old treasure map,
I came to the spot that said “Dig right here.”
And four feet down my spade struck wood
Just where the map said a chest would appear.
But carved in the side were written these words:
“A curse upon he who disturbs this gold.”
Signed, Morgan the Pirate, Scourge of the Seas.
I read these words and my blood ran cold.
So here I sit upon untold wealth
Tryin’ to figure which is worse:
How much do I need this gold?
And how much do I need this curse?”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Magic
Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“I know a way to stay friends forever,
There’s really nothing to it,
I tell you what to do,
And you do it.”
― Shel Silverstein

“Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
Hi-dee-ho, here I go,
Lookin’ for my missin’ piece”
― Shel Silverstein, The Missing Piece

“Pirate Captain Jim
“Walk the plank,” says Pirate Jim
“But Captain Jim, I cannot swim.”
“Then you must steer us through the gale.”
“But Captain Jim, I cannot sail.”
“Then down with the galley slaves you go.”
“But Captain Jim, I cannot row.”
“Then you must be the pirate’s clerk.”
“But Captain Jim, I cannot work.”
― Shel Silverstein

“We can’t hold hands―
Someone might see.
Won’t you please
Hold toes with me?”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing–and I smile.”
― Shel Silverstein

“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

Poems From Where The Sidewalk Ends Book By Shel Silverstein

“If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
THINKING you can just ain’t enough!”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“ENTER THIS DESERTED HOUSE
But please walk softly as you do.
Frogs dwell here and cricket too.
Ain’t no ceiling, only blue
Jays dwell here and sunbeams too.
Floors are flowers – take a few.
Ferns grow here and daisies too.
Whoosh, swoosh – too-whit, too-woo,
Bats dwell here and hoot owls too.
Ha-ha-ha,hee-hee,hoo-hoooo,
Gnomes dwell here and goblins too.
And my child, I thought you knew
I dwell here…and so do you.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, 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.
Come in!
Come in!”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“ALICE
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.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“May I ask you if you’ve noticed,
May I ask you if you’ve seen.
My minnow Minnie
Who was swimmin’
In you Ovaltine?
For you’ve gone and drunk it up, dear,
And she isn’t in the cup, dear.
And she’s nowhere to be found, dear.
Do you think that she has drowned, dear?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“THE ONE WHO STAYED
You should have heard the old men cry,
You should have heard the biddies
When that sad stranger raised his flute
And piped away the kiddies.
Katy, Tommy, Meg and Bob
Followed, skipped gaily,
Red-haired Ruth, my brother Rob,
And little crippled Bailey,
John and Nils and Cousin Claire,
Dancin’, spinnin’, turnin’,
‘Cross the hills to God knows where-
They never came returnin’.
‘Cross the hills to God knows where
The piper pranced, a leadin’
Each child in Hamlin Town but me,
And I stayed home unheedin’.
My papa says that I was blest
For if that music found me,
I’d be witch-cast like all the rest.
This town grows old around me.
I cannot say I did not hear
That sound so haunting hollow-
I heard, I heard, I heard it clear…
I was afraid to follow.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“RAIN
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain.
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand-
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“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.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Ricky was “L” but he’s home with the flu,
Lizzie, our “O,” had some homework to do,
Mitchell, “E” prob’ly got lost on the way,
So I’m all of the love that could make it today.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“POOR ANGUS
Oh what do you do, poor Angus,
When hunger makes you cry?
“I fix myself an omelet, sir,
Of fluffy clouds and sky.”
Oh what do you wear, poor Angus,
When winds blow down the hills?
“I sew myself a warm cloak, sir,
Of hope and daffodils.”
Oh who do you love, poor Angus,
When Catherine’s left the moor?
“Ah, then, sir, then’s the only time
I feel I’m really poor.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Falling Up Book Poems By Shel Silverstein

“William tell, William tell,
Take your arrow, grip it well,
There’s the apple– – aim for the middle– –
Oh well … you just missed by a little.”
― Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

“why can’t you see i’m a kid’, said the kid.
Why try to make me like you?
Why are you hurt when I don’t cuddle?
Why do you sigh when I splash through a puddle?
Why do you scream when I do what I did?
Im a kid.”
― Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

“The Voice
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
― Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

“Tell my 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.”
― Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

“would you like to hear
the night
i bravely fought the-
no?
alright”
― Shel Silverstein

“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 youre a pretender com sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in!
Come in!”
― Shel Silverstein

“Pirate Dreams
Needles and pins, Needles and pins,
Sew me a sail to catch me the wind.
Sew me a sail strong as the gale,
Carpenter, bring out your hammers and nails.
Hammers and nails, hammers and nails,
Build me a boat to go chasing the whales.
Chasing the whales, sailing the blue
Find me a captain and sign me a crew.
Captain and crew, captain and crew,
Take me, oh take me to anywhere new.”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“It was missing a piece.
And it was not happy.
So it set off in search
of its missing piece.
And as it rolled
it sang this song – “Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
Hi-dee-ho, here I go,
Lookin’ for my missin’ piece.”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“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.”
― Shel Silverstein

“Ma and God
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Use your fork.”
God gave us voices–Ma says, “Don’t scream.”
Ma says eat broccoli, cereal and carrots.
But God gave us tasteys for maple ice cream.
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Use your hanky.”
God gave us puddles–Ma says, “Don’t splash.”
Ma says, “Be quiet, your father is sleeping.”
But God gave us garbage can covers to crash.
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Put your gloves on.”
God gave us raindrops–Ma says, “Don’t get wet.”
Ma says be careful, and don’t get too near to
Thoses strange lovely dogs that God gave us to pet.
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Go wash ’em.”
But God gave us coal bins and nice dirty bodies.
And I ain’t too smart, but there’s one thing for certain–
Either Ma’s wrong or else God is.”
― Shel Silverstein

Everything On It Book Poems By Shel Silverstein

“A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years…”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“If you’re nasty, I won’t fight.
If you’re rough, well that’s just you.
If you’re mean, that’s alright too.
Whatever you are is all okay.
I don’t like you anyway.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“Talked my head off
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.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“If you’re sloppy, that’s just fine.
If you’re moody, I won’t mind.
If you’re fat, that’s fine with me.
If you’re skinny, let it be.
If you’re bossy, that’s all right.
if you’re nasty, I won’t fight.
If you’re rough, well that’s just you.
If you’re mean, that’s all right too.
Whatever you are is all okay.
I don’t like you anyway.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“The Yesees said yes to anything
That anyone suggested.
The Noees said no to everything
Unless it was proven and tested.
So the Yesees all died of much too much
And the Noees all died of fright,
But somehow I think the Thinkforyourselfees
All came out all right.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“Talked my head off
Worked my tail off
Cried my eyes out
Walked my feet off
Sang my heart out
So you see,
There’s really not much left of me.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“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.”
― Shel Silverstein

“Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing—and I smile.”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“Are you anybody else’s missing piece?’
‘Not that I know of.’
‘Well, maybe you want to be your own piece?’
‘I can be someone’s and still my own.’
‘Well, maybe you don’t want to be mine.’
‘Maybe I do.”
― Shel Silverstein

Best Shel Silverstein Poems

“My beard grows down to my toes,
I never wears no clothes,
I wraps my hair
Around my bare,
And down the road I goes.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Each time I see the Upside-Down Man
Standing in the water,
I look at him and start to laugh,
Although I shouldn’t oughtter.
For maybe in another world
Another time
Another town,
Maybe HE is right side up
And I am upside down”
― shel silverstein

“Just Me, Just Me
Sweet Marie, she loves just me
(She also loves Maurice McGhee).
No she don’t, she loves just me
(She also loves Louise Dupree).
No she don’t, she loves just me
(She also loves the willow tree).
No she don’t, she loves just me!
(Poor, poor fool, why can’t you see
She can love others and still love thee.)”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Larry’s such a liar—
He tells outrageous lies.
He says he’s ninety-nine years old
Instead of only five.
He says he lives up on the moon,
He says that he once flew.
He says he’s really six feet four
Instead of three feet two.
He says he has a billion dollars
‘Stead of just a dime.
He says he rode a dinosaur
Back in some distant time.
He says his mother is the moon
Who taught him magic spells.
He says his father is the wind
That rings the morning bells.
He says he can take stones and rocks
And turn them into gold.
He says he can take burnin’ fire
And turn it freezin’ cold.
He said he’d send me seven elves
To help me with my chores.
But Larry’s such a liar—
He only sent me four.”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“There is a place where the sidewalk ends,
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.”
― Shel Silverstein

“I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“INVISIBLE BOY
And here we see the invisible boy
In his lovely invisible house,
Feeding a piece of invisible cheese
To a little invisible mouse.
Oh, what a beautiful picture to see!
Will you draw an invisible picture for me?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“When I am gone what will you do?
Who will write and draw for you?
Someone smarter–someone new?
Someone better–maybe YOU!”
― Shel Silverstein

“You should have heard the old men cry
You should have heard the biddies
When that sad stranger rasied his flute
And piped away the kiddies.
Katy, Tommy, Meg, and Bob
Followed skipping gailey
Red-haired Ruth, my brother Ron,
And little crippled Bailey
Jon and Nils and Cousin Claire
Dancin’, spinnin’, turnin’
‘Cross the hills to god knows where-
They never came returnin’.
‘Cross the hills to god know where
The piper pranced a leadin’.
Each child in Hamlin town but me
And I stayed home unheedin’.
My papa says that I was blest
For if that music fond me
I’d be witch-cast like all the rest.
This town grows old around me.
I cannot say I did not hear
That sound so hauntin’ hollow.
I heard, I heard, I heard it clear…
I was afraid to follow.”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“Ickle me, pickle me, tickle me too
never returned to the world they knew
and nobody knows what happened to
dear ickle me, pickle me, tickle me too”
― Shel Silverstein

Sick – Shel Silverstein Poems

“Sick”
“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?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”
― Shel Silverstein

“This boat that we just built is just fine –
And don’t try to tell us it’s not
The sides and the back are divine –
It’s the bottom I guess we forgot”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Yes, I’m adopted.
My folks were not blessed
With me in the usual way.
But they picked me,
They chose me
From all the rest,
Which is lots more than most kids can say.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“An oak tree and a rosebush grew,
Young and green together,
Talking the talk of growing things-
Wind and water and weather.
And while the rosebush sweetly bloomed
The oak tree grew so high
That now it spoke of newer things-
Eagles, mountain peaks and sky.
“I guess you think you’re pretty great,”
The rose was heard to cry,
Screaming as loud as it possibly could
To the treetop in the sky.
“And now you have no time for flower talk,
Now that you’ve grown so tall.”
“It’s not so much that I’ve grown,” said the tree,
“It’s just that you’ve stayed so small.”
― Shel Silverstein

“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!”
― Shel Silverstein

“If you want to marry me, here’s what you’ll have to do:
You must learn how to make a perfect chicken-dumpling stew.
And you must sew my holey socks,
And soothe my troubled mind,
And develop the knack for scratching my back,
And keep my shoes spotlessly shined.
And while I rest you must rake up the leaves,
And when it is hailing and snowing
You must shovel the walk…and be still when I talk,
And-hey-where are you going?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“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.”
― Shel Silverstein

“​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, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Hi,” it said.
“Hi,” said the piece.
“Are you anybody else’s missing piece?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Well, maybe you want to be your own piece?”
“I can be someone’s and still be my own.”
“Well, maybe you don’t want to be mine.”
“Maybe I do.”
― Shel Silverstein

“Runny’s Nicpic
One day Runny Babbit
Met little Franny Fog.
He said, “Let’s have a nicpic
Down by the lollow hog.”
He brought some cutter bookies,
Some teanuts and some pea.
And what did Franny Fog bring?
Her whole fog framily.”
― Shel Silverstein, Runny Babbit Book and Abridged CD

Snowball – Shel Silverstein Poems

“i made myself a snowball
As perfect as can be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet,
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for it’s head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first – It wet the bed.”
― Shel Silverstein

“I didn’t do it
That’s a lie
I didn’t do it
No, not I
I didn’t do it
Hear me cry
I didn’t do it
Hope to die
I didn’t do it
I’m not that bad
But if I did
Would you be mad?”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“Oh, I’m being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it–one bit.
Well, what do you know?
It’s nibblin’ my toe.
Oh, gee,
It’s up to my knee.
Oh my,
It’s up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It’s up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It’s up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
It’s upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . . .”
― Shel Silverstein

“TURNING INTO
Swingin` from
A hick`ry bough
I felt so brave
I hollered…
WoW
But down I fell
Just like a bomb
And I heard my “wow”
Turn into…
MoM”
― Shel Silverstein

“TREE HOUSE
A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house,
Be sure to wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all-
Let’s go live in a tree house.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Eighteen luscuios scrumpitous flavors,
Chocolate,Lime and Cherry
Coffee,Pumpkin, Fudge-Banana,
Caramel Cream and boysenberry.
Rocky Road and Toasted Almond,
Butterscotch,Vanilla Dip, Butter Brinkle,
Apple Ripple,Coconut,and Mocha Chip, Brandy Peach and Lemon Custard.
Each scoop lovely.smooth and round. Tallest cream cone in town lying there on the ground.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead- with his wishes piled around him,
And they counted the lot and found that not
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new – here, take a few
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“One sister for sale,
One sister for sale,
One crying and spying young sister for sale
I’m really not kidding so who’ll start the bidding
Do I hear a dollar?
A nickle?
A penny?
Oh isnt there isnt there isnt there any
One person who will buy this sister for sale
This crying spying old young sister for sale.”
― Shel Silverstein

A Light In The Attic Poems By Shel Silverstein

“If we meet and I say, “Hi,”
That’s a salutation.
If you ask me how I feel,
That’s a consideration.
If we stop and talk awhile,
That’s a conversation.
If we understand each other,
That’s communication.
If we argue, scream and fight,
That’s an altercation.
If later we apologize,
That’s a reconciliation.
If we help each other home,
That’s cooperation.
And all these ations added up
Make civilization.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“There’s a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire–
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
And munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there–
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“One day he said, “I’ll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown.”
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees…
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“We can’t find the cat,
We don’t know where she’s at,
Oh, where did she go?
Does anyone know?
Let’s ask this walking hat.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“I’d rather play tennis than go to the dentist.
I’d rather play soccer than go to the doctor.
I’d rather play Hurk than go to work.
Hurk? Hurk? What’s Hurk?
I don’t know, but it must be better than work.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys will break.
So none of the other kids can use ’em….
Amen.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“Standing is stupid,
Crawling’s a curse,
Skipping is silly,
Walking is worse.
Hopping is hopeless,
Jumping’s a chore,
Sitting is senseless,
Leaning’s a bore.
Running’s ridiculous,
Jogging’s insane-
Guess I’ll go upstairs and
Lie down again.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“Somebody has to go polish the stars,
They’re looking a little bit dull.
Somebody has to go polish the stars,
For the eagles and starlings and gulls
Have all been complaining they’re tarnished and worn,
They say they want new ones we cannot afford.
So please get your rags
And your polishing jars,
Somebody has to go polish the stars.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ‘em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ‘em.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“FROZEN DREAM
I’ll take the dream I had last night
And put it in my freezer,
So someday long and far away
When I’m an old grey geezer,
I’ll take it out and thaw it out,
This lovely dream I’ve frozen,
And boil it up and sit me down
A dip my old cold toes in.”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

“If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
(‘Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor
Maybe they won’t let you
Dry the dishes anymore”
― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

Shel Silverstein Poems Books

“When I am gone what will you do?
Who will write and draw for you?
Someone smarter-someone new?
Someone better-maybe YOU!”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“One picture puzzle piece
Lyin’ on the sidewalk,
One picture puzzle piece
Soakin’ in the rain.
It might be a button of blue
On the coat of the woman
Who lived in a shoe.
It might be a magical bean,
Or a fold in the red
Velvet robe of a queen.
It might be the one little bite
Of the apple her stepmother
Gave to Snow White.
It might be the veil of a bride
Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.
It might be a small tuft of hair
On the big bouncy belly
Of Bobo the Bear.
It might be a bit of the cloak
Of the Witch of the West
As she melted to smoke.
It might be a shadowy trace
Of a tear that runs down an angel’s face.
Nothing has more possibilities
Than one old wet picture puzzle piece.”
― Shel Silverstein

“I said, “I’ll take the T-bone steak.”
A soft voice mooed, “Oh wow.”
And I looked up and realized
The waitress was a cow.
I cried, “Mistake–forget the the steak.
I’ll take the chicken then.”
I heard a cluck–’twas just my luck
The busboy was a hen.
I said, “Okay no, fowl today.
I’ll have the seafood dish.”
Then I saw through the kitchen door
The cook–he was a fish.
I screamed, “Is there anyone workin’ here
Who’s an onion or a beet?
No? Your’re sure? Okay then friends,
A salad’s what I’ll eat.”
They looked at me. “Oh,no,” they said,
“The owner is a cabbage head.”
― shel silverstein

“Fish?
The little fish eats the tiny fish,
The big fish eats the little fish–
So only the biggest fish get fat.
Do you know any folks like that?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Rockabye Baby, in the treetop
Dont you know a treetop
is no safe place to rock?
And who put you up there,
and your cradle too?
Baby,
I think someone down here
has got it in for you!”
― Shel Silverstein

“Knock! knock!
who’s there?
me!
me who?
that’s right?
what’s right?
meehoo!
that’s what I want to know!
what’s what you want to know?
me who?
yes, exactly!
exactly what?
yes, I have exactlywatt on a chain!
exactly what on a chain?
yes!
yes what?
no, exactlywatt!
that’s what I want to know!
I told you-exactlywatt!
exactly what?
yes!
yes what?
yes it’s with me.
what’s with you?
exactlywatt-that’s what with me.
me who?
yes!
go away!
knock knock…”
― Shel Silverstein

“Ourchestra:
So you haven’t got a drum, just beat your belly.
So I haven’t got a horn-I’ll play my nose.
So we haven’t any cymbals-
We’ll just slap our hands together,
And though there may be orchestras
That sound a little better
With their fancy shiny instruments
That cost an awful lot-
Hey, we’re making music twice as good
By playing what we’ve got!”
― Shel Silverstein

“True story
This morning I jumped on my horse
And went for a ride,
And some wild outlaws chased me
And shot me in the side.
So I crawled into a wildcats cave
To find a place to hide
But some pirates found me sleeping there
And soon they had me tied
To a pole and built a fire
Under me—I almost cried
Till a mermaid came and cut me loose
And begged to be my bride
So I said id come back Wednesday
But I must admit I lied.
Then I ran into a jungle swamp
But I forgot my guide
And I stepped into some quicksand
And no matter how hard I tried
I couldn’t get out, until I met
A watersnake named Clyde
Who pulled me to some cannibals
Who planned to have me fried
But an eagle came and swooped me up
And through the air we flied
But he dropped me in a boiling lake
A thousand miles wide
And you’ll never guess what I did then—
I DIED”
― Shel Silverstein

“Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out!
She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
“OK, I’ll take the garbage out!”
But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!”
― Shel Silverstein

“There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein Collection Of Short Poems

“I am too old and sad to play,”
said the boy.
“I want a boat that will
take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?”
“Cut down my trunk
and make a boat,” said the tree.
“Then you can sail away…
and be happy.”
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy
… but not really.”
― Shel Silverstein

“Nobody loves me, nobody cares,
Nobody picks me peaches and pears.
Nobody offers me candy and Cokes,
Nobody listens and laughs at me jokes.
Nobody helps when I get into a fight,
Nobody does all my homework at night.
Nobody misses me,
Nobody cries,
Nobody thinks I’m a wonderful guy.
So, if you ask me who’s my best friend, in a whiz,
I’ll stand up and tell you NOBODY is!
But yesterday night I got quite a scare
I woke up and Nobody just WASN’T there!
I called out and reached for Nobody’s hand,
In the darkness where Nobody usually stands,
Then I poked through the house, in each cranny and nook,
But I found SOMEBODY each place that I looked.
I seached till I’m tired, and now with the dawn,
There’s no doubt about it-
NOBODY’S GONE!!”
― Shel Silverstein

“The Little Boy and the Old Man
Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean,” said the little old man.”
― Shel Silverstein

“I’m making a list
I’m making a list of things I must say
For politeness,
And goodness and kindness and gentleness
Sweetness and rightness:
Hello
Pardon me
How are you?
Excuse me
Bless you
May I?
Thank you
Goodbye
If you know some that I’ve forgot,
Please stick them in you eye!”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.”
― Shel Silverstein

“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.”
― Shel Silverstein

“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.”
― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“I asked the Zebra,
are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes…again.”
― Shel Silverstein poems

“EARLY BIRD
Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird
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.”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
‘Turn on the dark,
I’m afraid of the light.”
― Shel Silverstein

Did you like these Shel Silverstein poems?

In many of his poems, Silverstein tackles serious subject matters like death by using humor, irony, and exaggeration. He uses these techniques for dealing with subjects that are difficult or uncomfortable. For example, in “The Giving Tree” Silverstein writes about the relationship between a tree and a boy by making it sound like they are friends.

We hope you get inspired and enjoy these best Shel Silverstein poems from Where The Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, Everything On It, A Light In The Attic books, and also understand the deep meaning hidden behind them.

Do share your thoughts with us in the comment section and tell us which one was your favorite from all of the Shel Silverstein poems or if you want to ask any questions or have any query send them via Contact Us

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