Title Image - Quotes by Author Shel Silverstein

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Wikipedia Summary for Shel Silverstein

Sheldon Allan Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999) was an American writer, poet, cartoonist, songwriter, and playwright. He was best known for his cartoons, songs, and children's books. He styled himself as Uncle Shelby in some works. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold more than 20 million copies. His songs have been recorded and popularized by a wide range of acts including Johnny Cash, The Irish Rovers, and Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. He was the recipient of two Grammy Awards as well as Golden Globe Award and Academy Award nominations.

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

What you've got to say, you say.

--Shel Silverstein

When I was younger, I wasn't making it, and I was mad at everybody who was.

--Shel Silverstein

I want to go everywhere, look at and listen to everything. You can go crazy with some of the wonderful stuff there is in life.

--Shel Silverstein

The child asks, 'Why don't I have this happiness thing you're telling me about?'

--Shel Silverstein

I'm free to leave... go wherever I please, do whatever I want; I believe everyone should live like that. Don't be dependent on anyone else -- man, woman, child, or dog.

--Shel Silverstein

I was always prepared for success but that means that I have to be prepared for failure, too'.

--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

And she loved a little boy very much, even more than she loved herself.

--Shel Silverstein

Do a loony goony dance Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world that ain't been there before.

--Shel Silverstein

I didn't have a lot of friends. I just walked around a lot and made up stories in my head. Then I'd go home and write them down. That's how I got started.

--Shel Silverstein

People are always giving you credit for really wanting to say more than you said.

--Shel Silverstein

I can write a poem in 10 minutes. I like writing songs; I can write songs in 5 or 10 minutes. My concentration seems very short.

--Shel Silverstein

To me, freedom entitles you to do something, not to not do something.

--Shel Silverstein

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

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

Stand-up comics reflect less of a visual humor and more of a commentary.

--Shel Silverstein

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

Sometimes I get so depressed
'Bout what I haven't done.
-NEVER.

--Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in.

--Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer come in.

--Shel Silverstein

It's amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make.

--Shel Silverstein

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

I can be somebody's and still be my own.

--Shel Silverstein

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

Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.

--Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends.

--Shel Silverstein

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

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

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

He wasted his wishes on wishing.

--Shel Silverstein

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

I couldn't play ball. I couldn't dance. Luckily, the girls didn't want me. Not much I could do about that. So I started to draw and to write. By the time I got to where I was attracting girls, I was already into work, and it was more important to me.

--Shel Silverstein

G'bye, I'm going out to play!

--Shel Silverstein

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

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

It's all the same to the clam.

--Shel Silverstein

My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I'm told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.

--Shel Silverstein

I've found my missin' piece So grease my knees and fleece my bees I've found my missin' piece!

--Shel Silverstein

This bridge will take you halfway there -- the last few steps you will have to take yourself.

--Shel Silverstein



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

Whatever you are is all okay. I don't like you anyway.

--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

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

Since my fried left me,I've got nothing to do but walking.I walk to forget.I walk,I escape,I get further.My friend will not come back,now I am a marathon man.

--Shel Silverstein

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

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

Do a loony-goony dance 'Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world That ain't been there before.

--Shel Silverstein

How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em.

--Shel Silverstein

It's always a nice feeling, having people think that you feel things much deeper than you're allowed to say, but this isn't true. If you want to find out what a writer or a cartoonist really feels, look at his work. That's enough.

--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

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

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 bird-- But if you're a worm, sleep late.

--Shel Silverstein

If you're a bird, be an early bird. But if you're a worm, sleep late.

--Shel Silverstein

So please get your rags

And your polishing jars,

Somebody has to go polish the stars.

--Shel Silverstein

Once i spoke the language of the flowers,Once i undrestand each word the caterpillar said,Once i smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings.

--Shel Silverstein

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

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

I was so lucky that I didn't have anyone to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style, I was creating before I knew there was a Thurber, a Benchley, a Price and a Steinberg. I never saw their work until I was around thirty.

--Shel Silverstein

I tried on the farmer's hat, Didn't fit... A little too small -- just a bit Too floppy... . I tried on the summer sun, Felt good. Nice and warm -- knew it would. Tried the grass beneath bare feet, Felt neat. Finally, finally felt well dressed, Nature's clothes fit me best.

--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

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?

--Shel Silverstein

Comfortable shoes and the freedom to leave are the two most important things in life.

--Shel Silverstein

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend, or wise man can decide what's right for you.

--Shel Silverstein

Listen to the voice that speaks inside.

--Shel Silverstein

You don't have to shoot me, says the young lion. I will be your rug and I will lie in front of your fireplace and I won't move a muscle and you can sit on me and toast all the marshmallows you want. I love marshmallows.

--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

There was a lot about the military that I thought was pretty silly, but these cartoons weren't meant to take a poke at anybody or anything. They were meant to make people laugh.

--Shel Silverstein

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.

--Shel Silverstein

He has the obligation to society that any human being has. I don't think a satirist has any greater obligation to society than a bricklayer or anybody else.

--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

The Voice 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

We're all worth the same

When we turn off the light.

--Shel Silverstein

The baby bat Screamed out in fright, 'Turn on the dark, I'm afraid of the light.

--Shel Silverstein

Oh the thumb-sucker's thumb

May look wrinkled and wet

And withered, and white as the snow,

But the taste of a thumb

Is the sweetest taste yet

(As only we thumb-sucker's know).

--Shel Silverstein

What did the carrot say to the wheat? Lettuce rest, I'm feeling beet.

--Shel Silverstein

The hens they all cackle, the roosters all beg,

But I will not hatch, I will not hatch.

For I hear all the talk of pollution and war

As the people all shout and the airplane roar,

So I'm staying in here where it's safe and it's warm,

And I WILL NOT HATCH!

--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

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

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

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