The Life and Works of Shel Silverstein Essay

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“If you are a dreamer, come in” (Silverstein 9). The opening line in Where the Sidewalk Ends, the first book in his popular trilogy, Shel Silverstein offers the reader a seat by his fire and a few tales to hear. He sets out his theme, for this book and others, of adventure, imagination and creativity. Silverstein’s style of poetry is often referred to as peculiar or unconventional. Each of his poems, though off the wall, has an underlying message or advice on life, love, school, family and many other topics. Shel Silverstein teaches his readers life lessons through his quirky and eccentric poems.

Not much is known about Shel Silverstein’s personal life because he very rarely gave interviews or spoke in public. Shel Silverstein was
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Susan Hastings passed away shortly after they discovered the cancer. It is not publicly known who Shel had a relationship after Susan Hastings but he had a son, Matthew. When Matthew was 15 his father and he were in Key West, Florida. Shel suffered from a heart attack that took his life on May 10, 1999. Matthew inherited his 20 million dollar estate.

When Shel Silverstein first began writing he took odd smaller jobs in papers, magazines and advertising. His first solo publication was in 1960. He published the book, Now Here’s my Plan: A Book of Futilities. This put Silverstein on the map. He began to write for more famous venues, such as Playboy magazine and many anthologies around the country. Then, in 1964, came one of his most known books, The Giving Tree. This book tells the tale of a young boy and a tree. The tree is very helpful to the boy and sees him through his life. The tree gives for as long as it can until it is reduced to a mere stump. Lucky for the boy, who is now and old man, he has a place to rest and remember the help he received from his friends the tree. The book was a hit children’s book and was loved by millions all across the country. He continued to write books and new poems until in 1974, he published, Where the Sidewalk Ends. This was the first in a trilogy of Silverstein’s most popular books. The book has been described as a collection of

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