Shel Silverstein Quotes That Went Over Our Heads As Children, But Make More Sense Now

Shel Silverstein’s “Where The Sidewalk Ends” is an awesome children’s book written many years ago.  However, reading it all these many years later, you will have a better understanding of what he was saying.

Read the lines below to see just how moving, prophetic and gut-wrenching Shel’s wisdom was when you were read them as a kid.

1. Losing Pieces

Talked my head off
Worked my tail off
Cried my eyes out
Walked my feet off
Sang my heart out
So you see,
There’s really not much left of me.

As an adult, feeling things is exhausting! Being an adult makes you realize that it can feel like you’re losing yourself with each passing day. But tomorrow is a new day and you can start over!

2. Masks

shel silverstein

She had blue skin
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through.
Then passed right by —
And never knew.

We all are afraid of what other people think of us, but we forget that everyone else is thinking the same thing. We daily put on our masks only to realize that it’s usually been right in front of us all along.

3. Batty

shel silverstein

The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
“Turn on the dark,
I’m afraid of the light.”

No matter how old you are, new environments can be intimidating. But overcoming those challenges, by “going into the light and spreading our wings” can help us see farther and fly higher.

4. The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long.
“I feel that 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.

shel silverstein

We, as children, are warned about the dangers of peer pressure. This poem reminds us that at the end of the day, you’re in charge of your life and your choices.

5. Underface

Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.

Showing our smiling faces makes it easy to get by in our daily lives. But by nodding and agreeing when asked if you’re doing alright, we feel as if it’d be burdensome to answer truthfully in casual conversations.

6. Hinges

shel silverstein

If we had hinges on our heads
There wouldn’t be no sin
‘Cause we could take the bad stuff out
And leave the good stuff in.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a hinged head? We can only try to be the best version of ourselves and try filling our heads with good stuff. It doesn’t erase the bad stuff, but we can. However, we can control the thoughts that go in and stay there.

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