Quickly Quotable #19 – 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.”

“How many slams in an old screen door? 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.”

“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?”

The picture of Shel on the back of my childhood copy of "Where the Sidewalk Ends"

Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois and began writing and drawing at a young age. He became a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Silverstein is best known as the author of iconic books of prose and poetry for young readers. His works include such modern classics as Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back (1963), The Giving Tree (1964), A Giraffe and a Half (1964), The Missing Piece (1976), and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O (1981). His immensely popular poetry collections are Where the Sidewalk Ends, a 1974 Michigan Young Readers Award winner; A Light in the Attic, recipient of the School Library Journal Best Books Award in 1982; Falling Up (1996); and Don’t Bump the Glump! And Other Fantasies, which was originally published in 1963 and reissued in 2008. Runny Babbit, a posthumous poetry collection of spoonerisms, was conceived and completed before his death.

Silverstein’s books, which he also illustrated, are characterized by a deft mixing of the sly and the serious, the macabre, and the just plain silly. His unique imagination and bold brand of humor is beloved by countless adults and children throughout the world. He died in May 1999.

Quotes from Goodreads.com

Bio from Poets.com

About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
This entry was posted in Quickly Quotable and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Quickly Quotable #19 – Shel Silverstein

  1. One of Shel’s most hilarious books was one he wrote for children-For Adults! It was called “Uncle Shelbie’s ABC’s”. If you ever get a chance to read it, it will change the way you look at children, and kid’s books.

  2. nrhatch says:

    Great quotes, but OMG . . . that photo makes him look like a convicted felon. LOL

  3. Love that first quote you’ve listed… might borrow that one for my tuesday quote!

    Thank you for reminding me of how much I loved Shel Silversteins work. Now if I can just find my copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends….

  4. aardvarkian says:

    I’ll check my local stores this week for some of Shel’s writing. You’re not the first to point me in his direction. There are some great quotes here. Thank you.

  5. Heather says:

    Boy, I love those quotes. Especially the first one. And the second one… and the third one…

    Thanks, again,

  6. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing these quotes. As someone totally unfamiliar with Shel Silverstein’s work, I will make it this week’s mission to seek some out.

  7. The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Are two of my favorite Silverstein books. I read them to my children and still read them to my grandkids. Nice piece on him.

  8. tsuchigari says:

    Thanks to all for stopping by – I grew up reading The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends and I still find them delightful. I agree that the picture is horrid, poor fellow shouldn’t use a picture that would frighten children!

  9. Pingback: 2010 My Literary Quest in review « My Literary Quest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s