Nothing says nostalgia and adolescence quite like the poetic verses, stories, and black-and-white sketches of Shel Silverstein. Somewhere in my old childhood room, with memories of after-school imagination and Mead notebooks of every color, I have all my favorite elementary school books stowed away. Up in the top of an old closet are books like Where The Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, A Light in the Attic
and more. And although it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read them again, their lines have stayed with me for a while.
Silverstein won countless awards for his poetry. Even the little characters he created came from a child’s dream—somewhere in the technicolor world inside their heads. My sister gave his books to me and now I want to give his words to you. Imagination is evergreen. Here are some Shel Silverstein quotes to remind you of the worlds inside your mind.
1. Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
2. There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
‘I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.’
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you — just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.
3. My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.
4. Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.
5. The bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone.
6. All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ In The Sun,
Talkin’ ‘Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done…
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did.
7. And he didn’t really know where he was going, but he did know he was going somewhere, because you really have to go somewhere, don’t you?
8. Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing–and I smile.
9. It’s amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make.
10. There are no happy endings, endings are sad-so let’s have a happy beginning and a happy middle.
Feature Image Via Bustle