Where The Sidewalk Ends

by Rich Nevin
(Portland, OR)

Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein

Coming to appreciate humorous, honest Shel.

I strongly disliked that my older sister Katie loved the poem, “Hungry Mungry” – it was too long, and, besides, you can’t eat something you’re a part of. It didn’t make sense!

In fact, I didn’t understand half the poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends for a very long time. What does he mean? Where did it go? What’s in the sack?

But when an old poem would finally sink in, it was a huge laugh, or a punch to the gut, or something new to chew on. Most importantly, this book said that it was ok to be real, to call it the way you see it.

You learn quickly, even as a kid, that the world is not a sugar coated jelly bean. That things aren’t guaranteed to go your way.

Silverstein was honest in a way that most people can’t be with kids (or with anyone for that matter). And as long as something is the way it is, we might as well laugh about it. And I’m still laughing and nodding and thinking, and just a little bit wanting to be more like Shel Silverstein.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings - 30th Anniversary Edition

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Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Anonymous

As an elementary student I found myself drawn to the jaded humor of Shel Silverstein. I cannot tell you how many times I checked out his poetry. I read the books faithfully and even began to write works of my own by the time I was seven.

I am a rhyming junkie and love play on words with a subtle hint of deep sarcasm to superficial issues, so it is only fitting that I would be the kid fighting for social issues through poetry.

His depth and understanding of the human disposition still resonates throughout my life.

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" used to be coupled with a glass of milk and some cookies. Now, I drink a glass of Merlot and share the wonderful rhymes with my little girl, who also has that seasoned spirit of creatively expressing human nature.

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