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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Celebrating a true 'Renaissance Man'

“People are always giving you credit for really wanting to say more than you said. What you've got to say, you say.” – Shel Silverstein

This past week marked the 86th anniversary of the birth of Silverstein, an American poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, children’s book author and illustrator, whose works to date have been translated into 30 languages and sold over 20 million copies.  Hard to label because of the many, many genres in which he wrote, perhaps his best-known book – continuously in print since its publication in 1964 – is the remarkable and poignant The Giving Tree. 

Silverstein, who died in 1999, won two Grammy Awards, including one for Johnny Cash’s mega-hit A Boy Named Sue, and one for the song I’m Checking Out, which also won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination.
But it was, perhaps, his wonderful poetry             
 – especially for kids, but often across generational lines – for which he will long be remembered and revered.  Poems like “Where The Sidewalk Ends,” “Clarence Lee From Tennessee,” “The Missing Piece,” and “A Light in the Attic” have become standards in children’s literature, and loved to be read by adults. 

For Saturday’s Poem, here is Silverstein’s extremely touching and heart-felt:

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
  Said the old man, "I do that too."

The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
  "Well, I do that too," laughed the little old man.

 Said the little boy, "I often cry."
  The old man nodded, "So do I." 
"But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems 
  Grown-ups don't pay attention to me.”

And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
 "I know what you mean," said the little old man.

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