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.


by Shel Silverstein

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

In 'Whatif,' Silverstein uses his classic approach to delve into the theme of anxiety, presenting it in a way that is both relatable and easily understood. His signature style allows the reader to confront challenging feelings without being overwhelmed by them.

Last night, while I lay thinking here,

some Whatifs crawled inside my ear

and pranced and partied all night long

and sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I'm dumb in school?

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.


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.


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.

Explore more poems from Shel Silverstein

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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