Posts Tagged ‘Shel Silverstein’

I was going to write something about gullibility this morning and while I was searching for something to kick off the post, a quote or an image, I came across this little bit of mirth from the late Shel Silverstein. It pretty much summed up everything you need to know about our willingness to often accept things that make no sense or are demonstrably false.

Of course, none of us will admit to wearing the plunger. We convince ourselves it’s a damn fine hat because Teddy or someone else, maybe someone named Donnie, says it is just that. If he says it looks good then it must, because he always tells us just what we want to hear and believe. We’re to smart and wary to fall for something other than the truth.

But in fact, we are actually like the character in All the King’s Men that Robert Penn Warren described: “I suppose that Willie had his natural quota of ordinary suspicion and caginess, but those things tend to evaporate when what people tell you is what you want to hear.”

And when someone is telling you that the toilet plunger on your head looks great, you really want to believe him. Because otherwise you’re just an idiot with a damn toilet plunger stuck on your head.

You know, whenever I see one of those godawful red hats on someone from now on, all I am going to see is that person with a toilet plunger on their head.

There’s a brain somewhere inside that bony box sitting between your shoulders, people. Take off the plunger and use it.



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Just one of those days that calls for a Shel break. By that, I mean a few short poems from the late Shel Silverstein. They are often labeled as being for kids, most likely for their simplicity in their messaging and the cartoon-like quality of his line drawings. But there is wonderful wordplay and a layer of maturity in them that usually makes me smile as well as think just a bit. I think the best children’s works have that quality that gives them an appeal beyond the kids.

Take the two pieces at the bottom, Losing Pieces and Zebra Question. They both play with how we speak and how we see things. Simple, sure. But interesting and a just a bit thought provoking.

And I can sure use a little bit of Shel this morning. My head feels like it has hinges and someone has opened it, scooped out everything and left me little to work with.

Got to go find some good stuff to put in it.

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The Loser

Ah, this little bit of  Shel Silverstein feels just about right on a Friday the 13th morning.

There’s certainly some truth in there somewhere. Maybe it’s that we are all looking for something we feel is missing and all the time, it’s there in plain sight. Or it would be if we weren’t sitting on our heads.

Keep your heads on today, folks.

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shel-silverstein-listen-to-the-mustntsBusy day. But there’s always time for a little Shel Silverstein.

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The Planet of Mars

Shel Silverstein The Planet of Mars

On a morning when I need  a chuckle I can always turn to the late, great Shel Silverstein and his slightly skewed take on the world.  Like him, there are people that I know who must be from Mars.  Check out his site by clicking here.

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For Father’s Day-


My dad gave me one dollar bill

‘Cause I’m his smartest son,

And I swapped it for two shiny quarters

‘Cause two is more than one!


And then I took the quarters

And traded them to Lou

For three dimes-i guess he don’t know

that three is more than two!


Just then, along came old blind Bates

And just ’cause he can’t see

He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,

And four is more than three!


And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs

Down at the seed-feed store,

and the fool gave me five pennies for them,

And five is more than four!


And then I went and showed my dad,

and he got red in the cheeks

And closed his eyes and shook his head-

Too proud of me to speak!


–Shel Silverstein


I ran this several years ago for Father’s Day but decided to run it again because I think my Dad appreciates the  humor more than the mush of most Father’s Day sentiments.  It was either this or A Boy Named Sue, a song I remember my Dad liking which is also written by Shel Silverstein.   If you want the rundown on the happy family above, just click on the picture.  Have a Happy Father’s Day…

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After yesterday’s post concerning masks, my friend Gary reminded me of a new book of poems, including one titled Masks, from the incredible imagination of the late Shel Silverstein.  I’ve written about him before here, once about his classic The Giving Tree and another time reprinting his poem Smart for Father’s Day.  His new book is Every Thing On it and is comprised of never before published poems and drawings from the acclaimed poet and songwriter who died in 1999.  I suspect it would make a great and thoughtful Christmas gift for children of all ages.  I know I’m making a gift of it to myself.   Also, take a gander at his website, ShelSilverstein.com.  It has tremendous animations and is a beautiful site, with an emphasis on his work for children.

Really good stuff.

Here’s Masks from his new book. 



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