Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein Poems

Shel Silverstein is best known as an author of children’s poetry. Before his death in 1999, he had established himself as both a songwriter and an author for readers of all ages. Read more about Shel Silverstein.

Show It At the Beach

by Shel Silverstein

‘Show It At the Beach’ by Shel Silverstein addresses taboos in contemporary society. Specifically, the poem considers when nudity is appropriate and when it isn’t (on the beach). 

This poem is a humorous piece that satirizes societal norms and censorship. It is simple and easy to understand, making it accessible to a broad audience, and it carries a message that is still relevant today. But, it is not one of Shel Silverstein's better-known poems.

Oh, they won't let us show it at the beach.

No, they won't let us show it at the beach.

They think we're gonna grab it if it gets within our reach.

And they won't let us show it at the beach.

Dirty Face

by Shel Silverstein

‘Dirty Face’ by Shel Silverstein is a sixteen line poem that is divided up into one couplet and one set

Hug O’ War

by Shel Silverstein

‘Hug O’ War’ was published in 1974 in Silverstein’s collection Where the Sidewalk Ends. The poem is characteristic of Silverstein’s poetry

Messy Room

by Shel Silverstein

‘Messy Room’ by Shel Silverstein is a humorous poem. It uses amusing imagery and a constant rhyme scheme in order to get a simple message across. 

Needles and Pins

by Shel Silverstein

In ‘Needles and Pins’ Silverstein explores themes of adventure and escapism. Through language that is easy to understand and rhymes


by Shel Silverstein

Within ‘Sick’ Shel Silverstein crafts a humorous story of one child’s attempts to stay home from school. The poem explores the themes of deceit, obligations, and joy.

Skin Stealer

by Shel Silverstein

‘Skin Stealer’ by Shel Silverstein is a twenty-three line poem that is contained within one block of text. The lines


by Shel Silverstein

‘Snowball’ is an amusing poem. In it, Shel Silverstein describes a young boy’s attempt to keep a snowball in his room.

The Bridge

by Shel Silverstein

In ‘The Bridge’ Silverstein explores themes of magic, imagination, and storytelling. The latter is seen through the speaker who is


by Shel Silverstein

‘Whatif’ by Shel Silverstein is a playful presentation of fears, struggles, and uncertainties that haunt Silverstein at “night“.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein

‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ by Shel Silverstein speaks on the important theme of growing up. The poet discusses the differences between the adult world and the mind of a child.

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