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The Life, The Ideas, And The Works Of Shel Silverstein

967 words - 4 pages

“Anything is possible, anything can be”, says Shel Silverstein, who undoubtedly believed that anything was possible. Shel Silverstein was a poet, but he was more than just that. He was also a musician, a composer, and a cartoonist (biography.com). Though he was all of those things, he was best known for his writings and poetry. Silverstein was able to share his life, what he felt, and what he thought through his work.

With “his unique imagination and bold brand of humor”, Sheldon Alan Silverstein is one of the most famous and well-known American poets (poets.org). Silverstein, born in Chicago on September 25, 1930 died when he was 68 years old from a heart attack in May 1999 (poets.org). Silverstein joined the army and when his time was up, he decided to become a cartoonist for a magazine. Afterwards, he went on to compose music, but finally realized writing stories and poems was where he belonged (biography.com). One of Shel Silverstein’s most famous books, The Giving Tree, has been translated into over 30 different languages and has touched the hearts of not only children, but also adults all over the world (biography.com). Silverstein was a talented and an exhilarating writer (poemhunter.com). Where the Sidewalk Ends provides an excellent example of Silverstein’s fresh style and carefree outlook. It could be compared to his contemporaries like Theodore Geisel and Edward Lear, which contained lighthearted and amusing efforts (poemhunter.com). On the outside, Shel Silverstein might have been happy and silly, but he had experienced tragedy and sadness from the deaths of his wife and eleven year old daughter (thefamouspeople.com). Even though Shel Silverstein “never planned to write or draw for kids”, his legacy is perpetuated through his contribution to children’s literature (poemhunter.com)!

With his rhyme and unconventional writing, nobody can deny that Shel Silverstein is more than just a poet. He “never failed to create laughter, and capture the heart of readers” (studymode.com) for example in Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back the talking lion teaches us we all have choices in life (poetrysoup.com). In addition, Silverstein uses rhyme quite often redundantly. Although all of the lines in the stanza may not rhyme, Silverstein incorporates lines that do. He also has a way of rhyming lines with other lines from previous stanzas (shmoop.com). Where the Sidewalk Ends provides an example in stanza two, lines eight through ten, and in stanza three, line thirteen through fifteen. “Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow, We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow, And watch where the chalk-white arrows go”...“Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow, And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go, For the children, they mark, and the children, they know” (shmoop.com). As a result, Shel Silverstein’s innovative style of writing is exhibited in taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, which...

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