Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of thoughts and quotations by Shel Silverstein on inspiration, life, friendship, imagination, poems, dreams, books, writing, humor and love.

78 Motivational Quotes By Shel Silverstein That Are Sure To Light Your Path

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet

Born On: September 25, 1930

Died On: May 10, 1999

Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Died At Age: 68

Sheldon Allen Silverstein, popularly known by his pen name Shel Silverstein, was an American children’s book writer, poet, cartoonist, screenwriter and a singer. He went on to become one of the most popular children’s story book writers of all time. Silverstein had been an avid cartoonist since his childhood and had reiterated in interviews that since he struggled with sports; making cartoon strips was his favorite activity. His work was published by several well known magazines and in 1955 he had his first big break when his cartoon collection ‘Take Ten’ was published. He also worked as a cartoonist for many years for the hugely popular men’s magazine ‘Playboy’ and worked on global stories for the magazine. He started off as a children’s book writer a bit late but soon became a hugely successful one and his books became instant hit across the globe with sales running into millions. Some of his well-known works include, ‘A Boy Named Sue’, ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ and ‘The Giving Tree’ among many others. He was also an accomplished songwriter and singer and had won two ‘Grammy Awards’. He was a man of rare gifts, with a pithy sense of humor. Much of what he has said or written has become quite famous as his quotes and thoughts and is quoted extensively. His thoughts and quotations tackled the most serious and sensitive topics in a lighter tone. Here are few of Shel Silverstein’s notable quotes.

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.

Shel Silverstein

There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, So just give me a happy middle And a very happy start.

Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer come in If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer If youre a pretender com sit by my fire For we have some flax golden tales to spin Come in! Come in!

Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.

Shel Silverstein

Do a loony-goony dance 'Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world That ain't been there before.

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.

Shel Silverstein

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.

Shel Silverstein

Tell my I'm clever, Tell me I'm kind, Tell me I'm talented, Tell me I'm cute, Tell me I'm sensitive, Graceful and Wise Tell me I'm perfect-- But tell me the TRUTH.

Shel Silverstein

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.

Shel Silverstein

When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?

Shel Silverstein

EARLY BIRD Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird And catch the worm for your breakfast plate. If you’re a bird, be an early early bird-- But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

Shel Silverstein

Anything is possible. Anything can be.

Shel Silverstein

I know a way to stay friends forever, There's really nothing to it, I tell you what to do, And you do it.

Shel Silverstein

... and she loved a boy very, very much-- even more than she loved herself.

Shel Silverstein

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

Shel Silverstein

So I'm all of love that could make it today.

Shel Silverstein

If there is a book you want to read but isn`t written yet,write it.

Shel Silverstein

...I am writing these poems from inside a lion...

Shel Silverstein

And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.

Shel Silverstein

Everything isn't everything

Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer come in

Shel Silverstein

And the tree was happy

Shel Silverstein

So what if nobody came? I’ll have all the ice cream and tea, And I’ll laugh with myself, And I’ll dance with myself, And I’ll sing, “Happy Birthday to me!

Shel Silverstein

If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain't enough!

Shel Silverstein

Would you like to hear the night i bravely fought the- no? alright

Shel Silverstein

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?

Shel Silverstein

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

Shel Silverstein

My beard grows down to my toes, I never wears no clothes, I wraps my hair Around my bare, And down the road I goes.

Shel Silverstein

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.

Shel Silverstein

I've found my missin' piece So grease my knees and fleece my bees I've found my missin' piece!

Shel Silverstein

Once i spoke the language of the flowers,Once i undrestand each word the caterpillar said,Once i smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,

Shel Silverstein

Ricky was "L" but he's home with the flu, Lizzie, our "O," had some homework to do, Mitchell, "E" prob'ly got lost on the way, So I'm all of the love that could make it today.

Shel Silverstein

We can't hold hands― Someone might see. Won't you please Hold toes with me?

Shel Silverstein

ALICE She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME And she grew so tall, She ate from a plate called TASTE ME And down she shrank so small. And so she changed, while other folks Never tried nothin' at all.

Shel Silverstein

Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest." And the boy did. And the tree was happy.

Shel Silverstein

Teddy said it was a hat, So I put it on. Now dad is saying, "where the heck's the toilet plunger gone?

Shel Silverstein

This boat that we just built is just fine - And don't try to tell us it's not The sides and the back are divine - It's the bottom I guess we forgot

Shel Silverstein

Yes, I'm adopted. My folks were not blessed With me in the usual way. But they picked me, They chose me From all the rest, Which is lots more than most kids can say.

Shel Silverstein

He wasted his wishes on wishing.

Shel Silverstein

But all the magic I have known I've had to make myself.

Shel Silverstein

...Just 'cause somethin' ain't been done Don't mean it can't be did...

Shel Silverstein

And the boy loved the tree.......very much. And the tree was happy.

Shel Silverstein

I didn't do it That's a lie I didn't do it No, not I I didn't do it Hear me cry I didn't do it Hope to die I didn't do it I'm not that bad But if I did... Would you be mad?

Shel Silverstein

Rockabye Baby, in the treetop Dont you know a treetop is no safe place to rock? And who put you up there, and your cradle too? Baby, I think someone down here has got it in for you!

Shel Silverstein

It's amazing the difference A bit of sky can make.

Shel Silverstein

Whatever you are is all okay. I don't like you anyway.

Shel Silverstein

When I am gone what will you do? Who will write and draw for you? Someone smarter--someone new? Someone better--maybe YOU!

Shel Silverstein

It's all the same to the clam.

Shel Silverstein

There are no happy endings, endings are sad-so let's have a happy beginning and a happy middle.

Shel Silverstein

Don’t know where he’s going but sees where he’s been.

Shel Silverstein

Oh I'm lookin' for my missin' piece I'm lookin' for my missin' piece Hi-dee-ho, here I go, Lookin' for my missin' piece

Shel Silverstein

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my toys will break. So none of the other kids can use 'em.... Amen.

Shel Silverstein

How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ‘em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ‘em.

Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

If you're nasty, I won't fight. If you're rough, well that's just you. If you're mean, that's alright too. Whatever you are is all okay. I don't like you anyway.

Shel Silverstein

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.

Shel Silverstein

I was hoping that perhaps I could roll with you..." "You cannot roll with me," said the Big O, "but perhaps you can roll by yourself.

Shel Silverstein

I'd rather play tennis than go to the dentist. I'd rather play soccer than go to the doctor. I'd rather play Hurk than go to work. Hurk? Hurk? What's Hurk? I don't know, but it must be better than work.

Shel Silverstein

I keep meeting all the right people At all the wrong times.

Shel Silverstein

The Voice 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

Sometimes I get so depressed 'Bout what I haven't done. -NEVER

Shel Silverstein

Since my fried left me,I've got nothing to do but walking.I walk to forget.I walk,I escape,I get further.My friend will not come back,now I am a marathon man.

Shel Silverstein

I can be somebody's and still be my own.

Shel Silverstein

I believe that if you don’t want to do anything, then sit there and don’t do it, but don’t expect people to hand you a corn beef sandwich and wash your socks for you.

Shel Silverstein

Many leaves one tree

Shel Silverstein

...In a world of apples and kisses and shoes He wasted his wishes on wishing.

Shel Silverstein

We can't find the cat, We don't know where she's at, Oh, where did she go? Does anyone know? Let's ask this walking hat.

Shel Silverstein

I've discovered a way to stay friends forever - There's really nothing to it. I simply tell you what to do And you do it!

Shel Silverstein

I'm Reginald Clark, I'm afraid of the dark So please do not close this book on me.

Shel Silverstein

When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue and orange with lavender spots?

Shel Silverstein

Ickle me, pickle me, tickle me too never returned to the world they knew and nobody knows what happened to dear ickle me, pickle me, tickle me too

Shel Silverstein

Never explain what you do. It speaks for itself. You only muddle it by talking about it.

Shel Silverstein

Anything can happen child, anything can be.

Shel Silverstein

William tell, William tell, Take your arrow, grip it well, There’s the apple– – aim for the middle– – Oh well … you just missed by a little.

Shel Silverstein

If I had a brontosaurus, I would name him Horace or Morris. But if suddenly one day he had A lot of little brontosauri- I would change his name to Laurie.

Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin; come in! Come in!

Shel Silverstein

O Chid learn your ABZ's and memorize them well, and you shall learn to talk and speak and read and write and spel

Shel Silverstein

Tell me I'm clever, Tell me I'm kind. Tell me I'm talented, Tell me I'm cute. Tell me I'm sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I'm perfect - But tell me the truth.

Shel Silverstein