Shel Silverstein Poems

In trying to describe Shel Silverstein poems, I can't help but ponder at how amazing it is that such few and simple words can make us laugh out loud, smile in understanding and even cry.

As silly and outrageous as some of Silverstein's poems are, others are wrought with depth and meaning.

"Red, black or orange,
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light."
Excerpt from No Difference, Where the Sidewalk Ends

All of the Shel Silverstein Poems are protected by the copyright law, so we can only give you excerpts, and information about where to find the poems in their entirety.

There are however, some Silverstein Poems available online in the form of animated videos. We have provided several below.

We have also provided pages devoted to the following two poems:
Sick by Shel Silverstein and Smart by Shel Silverstein.

On a different note, if you are looking for kids activities related to Shel Silverstein poems and for Poetry Month, visit Shel Silverstein.com .

So, where can you get a hold of actual Shel Silverstein Poems? Well, the most logical place to look is in his books, of course.

Collection of Shel Silverstein Poems - Books

A Light in the Attic, published by HarperCollins on October 7, 1981.It is this collection of Shel's work that was the first children's book to break into the New York Times Bestseller List. It remained on the bestseller list for a record breaking 182 weeks.

This book of Shel Silverstein poems has also won the following awards:

  • 1981 Notable Children's Books (ALA)
  • 1981 Best Books (SLJ)
  • 1981 Children's Books (Library of Congress) )
  • 1981 New York Public Library Children's Books Award
  • 1981 USA Children's Books of International Interest
  • 1983–84 William Allen White Award (Kansas)
  • 1983 Garden State Children's Book Award (NJ Library Assoc.)
  • 1984 Garden State Children's Book Award for Non-Fiction (NJ Library Assoc.)
  • 1984 George C. Stone Center for Children's Books "Recognition of Merit" Award (Claremont, CA)
Within the estimated 89 poems, we will get to find out what happens when Somebody steals our knees, catch the moon, and uncover the Whatifs that crawled inside our ears and,
"pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they closed the swimming pool?,br>Whatif I get beatup?
Whatif there's poison in my cup. . ."
Like in most of Silverstein's creations, when reading A Light in the Attic we can expect to laugh at the silliness and playfulness of his words while often uncovering a deeper meaning and lesson in the overall poems themselves.

See Table of Contents below.

Adventures Of A Frisbee
Almost Perfect
Always Sprinkle Pepper
Anchored
Anteater
Arrows
Ations
Backward Bill
Batty
Bear in There
Blame
Bored
Buckin' Bronco
Captain Blackbeard Did What
Catching
Channels
Clarence
The Climbers
Cloony the Clown
Come Skating
Crowded Tub
Day After Halloween
Deaf Donald
Dinner Guest
Dog's Day
The Dragon of Grindly Grun
Eight Balloons
Examination
Fancy Dive
Fear
The Fly Is In
Friendship
Frozen Dream
God's Wheel
Gooloo
Gumeye Ball
Hammock
Have Fun
Headache
Here Comes
Hiccup Cure
Hinges
Hippo's Hope
Hitting
Homework Malchine
Hot Dog
How Many, How Much
How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes
How to Make a Swing with No Rope or Board or Nails
Hula Eel
Hurk
If
Importnt?
In Search Of Cinderella
It's All The Same to the Clam
It's Hot
Kidnapped
Ladies First
A Light in the Attic
Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony
The Little Boy and the Old Man
Longmobile
The Lost Cat
Magic Carpet
The Man In The Iron Pail Mask
The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt
Memorizin' Mo
Messy Room
Monsters I've Met
Moon-catchin' Net
Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats
My Guitar
The Nailbiter
Never
Nobody
The Oak and the Rose
One Two
Outside Or Underneath
Overdues
The Painter
Peckin'
Picture Puzzle Piece
Pie Problem
The Pirate
Play Ball
Poemsicle
Prayer of the Selfish Child
Prehistoric
Push Button
Put Something In
Quick Trip
Reflection
Rhino Pen
Rock 'n' Roll Band
Rockabye
Senses
Shadow Race
Shaking
Shapes
She Wanted to Play the Piano
Signals
The Sitter
Skin Stealer
Snake Problem
Snap
Somebody Has To
Something Missing
Sour Face Ann
Spelling Bee
Squishy Touch
Standing Is Stupid
Stop Thief
Strange Wind
Superstitious
Surprise
Suspense
The Sword-swallower
They've Put a Brassiere on the Camel
This Bridge
Thumb Face
Ticklish Tom
Tired
The Toad and the Kangaroo
Tryin' On Clothes
Turtle
Tusk, Tusk
Twistable, Turnable Man
Union For Children's Rights
Unscratchable Itch
Wavy
What Did?
Whatif
Who Ordered the Broiled Face
Wild Strawberries
Zebra Question
The following is an animated video of the poemBackward Bill found in A Light in the Attic narrated by Shel Silverstein himself:


Don't Bump the Glump! and Other Fantasies, published by HarperCollins in 1964. This is Shel Silverstein's first published collection of poems for children. It is also the only collection that is illustrated in color.

Throughout this 56 page book children are introduced to a zoo of Silverstein animal creations such as the Bloath and the One-Legged Zantz. Many of the poems in this collection are nonsensical and full of rhyming fun for kids.

Please be kind to the One-Legged Zantz
Consider his feelings---
Don't ask him to dance.
Excerpt from One-Legged Zantz of Don't Bump the Glump
Falling Up, originally published by HarperCollins in 1981 is full of Shel's delightful and meaningful poetry accompanied by his cartoon drawings. The second edition of this book is the last publication of work Shel made before his 1999 death.

It is this second edition that has won the following awards:

  • 1996 New York Public Library Children's Books Award
  • 1996 Editor's Choice (Booklist)
  • 1997 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA)
  • 1997 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • 1997 Children's Choices (IRA/CBC)
Within the estimated 144 Shel Silverstein Poems, readers are introduced to humorous characters such as the Terrible Toy-Eating Tookle, Danny O'Dare, the dancin' bear, Screamin' Millie, who screamed "so loud it made her eyebrows steam" and many others.

See the Table of Contents below:

Advice
Allison Beals Had Twenty-five Eels
Alphabalance
Bad Cold
A Battle in the Sky
The Bear, The Fire, And The Snow
Best Mask?
Big Eating Contest
Bituminous
Blood-curdling Story
Body Language
Camp Wonderful
Carrots
The Castle
Cat Jacks
A Cat, A Kid, And A Mom
Cereal
Christmas Dog
Clean Gene
A Closet Full Of Shoes
Complainin' Jack
Cookwitch Sandwich
Crazy Dream
Crystal Ball
Dancin' in the Rain
Danny O'dare
The Deadly Eye
Dentist Dan
Description
Diving Board
Don the Dragon's Birthday
Eggs Rated
Every Lunchtime
Falling Up
Feeding Time
The Folks Inside
Foot Repair
The Foremer Foreman's Story
Forgetful Paul Revere
Furniture Bash
Gardener
Glub - Glub
The Gnome, The Gnat, And The Gnu
Golden Goose
Hand Holding
Hard To Please (to Be Said In One Breath)
Haunted
Headless Town
Headphone Harold
Help!
Hi-monster
Human Balloon
Hungry Kid Island
Hypnotized
Ice Cream Stop
Imagining
In The Land Of...
James
Kanga Ruby
Keep-out House
Keepin' Count
Little Hoarse
Little Pig's Treat
Long Scarf
Long-leg Lou And Short-leg Sue
Lyin' Larry
Mari-lou's Ride
Medusa
Mirror, Mirror
Mister Moody
Molly's Folly
The Monkey
Morgan's Curse
The Mummy
Music Lesson
My Nose Garden
My Robot
My Sneaky Cousin
The Nap Taker
Needles And Pins
New World
No
No Grown-ups
No Thank You
Noise Day
Nope
Obedient
One Out Of Sixteen
Ooh
People Zoo
Pinocchio
Plugging In
Poison-tester
The Porky
Quality Time
Reachin' Richard
Red Flowers for You
Remote-a-dad
Rotten Convention
The Runners
The Sack Race
Safe?
Scale
Screamin' Millie
Settin' Around
Shanna in the Sauna
Sharing
Shoe Talk
Short Kid
Show Fish
Sidewalking
The Smile Makers
Snowball
Somethin' New
Sorry I Spilled It
Spoiled Brat
Stone Airplane
Stork Story
Strange Restaurant
Stupid Pencil Maker
Sun Hat
Sybil the Magician's Last Show
Tattooin' Ruth
Tell Me
They Say I Have
Three O'clock
Three Stings
The Tongue Sticker-outer
The Toy Eater
Turkey?
Unfair
A Use For A Moose
The Voice
Warmhearted
Wastebasket Brother
We're Out Of Paint, So
The Weavers
Web-foot Woe
Weird-bird
When I Was Your Age
Why Is It?
Woulda-coulda-shoulda
Writer Waiting
Yuck
The following is an animated video of the Shel Silverstein poem, The Toy Eater from Falling Up, narrated by Shel Silverstein.


Runny Babbit: a Billy Sook, published posthumously by HarperCollins in 2005 is a collection of Shel Silverstein Poems that Shel was working on before his death in 1999.

Winner of a 2005 Quill Book Award, this amazing collection of poems stretches silliness into a whole new language. Silverstein introduces as such:

So if you say, "Let's bead a rook
That's billy as can se,"
You're talkin' Runny Babbit talk,
Just like mim and he.
As you can probably tell, Shel has rearranged some consonants, so it's laugh-out-loud fun to read-a-loud the misfit adventures of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, and Snerry Jake.

There are approximately 42 poems in this collection of Shel Silverstein poems.

Below you will find an animated video of Runny on Rount Mushmore from Runny Babbit: a Billy Sook, © 2005 Evil Eye, LLC. narrated by Dennis Locorriere.


Where the Sidewalk Ends, published by HarperCollins in 1974 is a definite success for Shel's readers. The warm and friendly book invites our imaginations to play and dream along with the witty and comical characters of Silverstein's poems.

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!
Once we've accepted Shel's invitation to enter his poetic world, we get acquainted with Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out, Hector the Collector, the Dirtiest Man in the World, a Crocodile with a toothache and countless others.

This second collection of Shel Silverstein poems won the following Awards:

  • ALA Notable Children’s Book
  • New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year
  • New York Times Notable
  • George C. Stone Center for Children's Books Recognition of Merit Award
  • Golden Archer Award (Wisconsin)
  • Golden Archer Award (Wisconsin)
Below you can see an animated video of the Shel Silverstein poem, Ickle Me Pickle Me Tickle Me Too from Where the Sidewalk Ends narrated by Shel Silverstein.


And the following is another Silverstein poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends, Crocodile's Toothache narrated by Shel Silverstein.


Okay, well that's all we've got so far on Shel Silverstein poems. This page may continue to grow as we do more research on the Super Children's Books of Shel.

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