Today, I must pay tribute to the poet who most likely started the fire under my love of poetry: Shel Silverstein. I LOVED to read his books when I was a kid. He had those ridiculous poems playing with words or exploring weird concepts and characters (like the thing up your nose that might bite your finger off if you didn’t stop picking it) that made you giggle along with simple line drawings.
Poems like this one from “Where the Sidewalk Ends”:
And I can’t read that one without hearing his voice performing it, so here’s a video from back in the day of him doing just that!
BUT he also had those short simple poems with depth that made you pause and think. Like this one which almost makes me cry every time I read it:
Shel was a complicated guy (as a reading of any biography of his will tell you), but he opened the world of creativity to me at pivotal age. He taught me to laugh and ponder strangeness and wonder. He taught me that poetry for children isn’t something to be taken lightly. Before I share any other poems written for children these days, I had to share his.