Poetry: Shel Silverstein

Girl in crowd
image by Graehawk on Pixabay

Masks

She had blue skin,

and so did he.

He kept it hid

And so did she.

They searched for blue

their whole life through.

Then passed right by-

And never knew.

-Shel Silverstein “Everything On It”

This week’s theme is Masks. And I thought what better way to kick it off than with a favourite by Shel Silverstein.

Everyone is different. There is someone out there looking for exactly who you are. But if you put up false fronts and fake personalities, ie. masks, you will never find each other. Be you.

Silverstein, His Life and Accomplishments

For those of you who are not familiar with Shel Silverstein, he was a poet, songwriter, illustrator and playwright extraordinaire. He is known in the world of children’s literature for his books of poetry “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, “The Light in the Attic”, and “Everything On It”, and for “The Giving Tree”. His children’s poems are at first glance simplisic and silly, though loved by children. Yet many of them offer a wider meaning and are filled with wisdom and truth. He did his own illustrations for his books, and his cartoons were featured in Sports Illustrated, This Week, and Playbook, among other magazines.

This is only part of Shel Silverstein, though. He was also a songwriter. He wrote ‘A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash, One’s on the Way”for Loretta Lynn and numerous songs for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, including “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone”. And for my Canadian readers who may remember the Irish Rovers, Silverstein also wrote their theme song, “The Unicorn”. His songs have been used in movies such as Thelma and Louise and Coal Miner’s Daughter, He has written scripts for film, tv, and theatre. He won two Grammy Awards and was nominated for an Acadamy Award and a Golden Globe. His books have been translated into 30 languages and and have sold 20 million copies.

Silverstein died in 1999, a renaissance man in the world of entertainment.

Here’s a favourite.

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.

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