This month's 5 minutes for books Children's Classics carnival post theme is Poetry. There is no arguing that when it comes to classic children's poetry Shel Silverstein rises right to the top of the pile. I remember when my younger sister who did not even like to read brought Where the Sidewalk Ends home from her elementary school one day. She had checked it out of the library and spent a good bit of time reading it, as a matter of fact I think she kept it till it was overdue she liked it so much. Being the older sister I typically ignored her but when she stopped looking at it and left it laying ont he table I picked it up. I was already an avid reader at the time so I devoured it from cover to cover.
I loved the book and so went on to read all of his books, everything I ever read by him got two thumbs up, way up. When I grew up was only when I found out all about Shel Silverstein's background. He was a writer for Playboy. He wrote some of the great classic songs that we all know, Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue and The Cover of the Rolling Stone performed by Dr. Hook to name just a couple.
I found this interview on wikipedia, the answers to these questions are a perfect example of why I love him and his poems.
Question: "Why do you have a beard?"
Shel: "I don't have a beard. It's just the light; it plays funny tricks."
Question: "How do you think your present image as world traveler, bawdy singer, etc. combines with your image as a writer of children's books?"
Shel: "I don't think about my image."
Question: "Do you admit that your songs and drawings have a certain amount of vulgarity in them?"
Shel: "No, but I hope they have a certain amount of realism in them."
Question: "Do you shave your head for effect or to be different, or to strike back at the long-haired styles of today?
Shel: "I don't explain my head."
—Shel Silverstein (1965) from the album I'm So Good That I Don't Have to Brag.
Magazine - National Geographic Kids
Book - A Year in the Merde
Audio - The Art of Happiness by the Dhali Llama