94+ Best Shel Silverstein Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Sheldon Allan “Shel” Silverstein was an American writer known for his cartoons, songs, and children’s books. Profoundly inspirational Shel Silverstein quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

If you’re searching for deep quotes by authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by Aldo Leopold, best Brennan Manning quotes and greatest Carlos Castaneda quotes.

Famous Shel Silverstein Quotes

This bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wonderous worlds Ive known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone. – Shel Silverstein

We can’t hold hands? Someone might see. Won’t you please Hold toes with me? – Shel Silverstein

would you like to hear the night i bravely fought the- no? alright – Shel Silverstein

I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins. – Shel Silverstein

I made an airplane out of stone. . . I always did like staying home. – Shel Silverstein

People are always giving you credit for really wanting to say more than you said. – Shel Silverstein

I’ve found my missin’ piece So grease my knees and fleece my bees I’ve found my missin’ piece! – Shel Silverstein

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

We’re all worth the same When we turn off the light. – Shel Silverstein

If you have to dry the dishes (Such an awful boring chore) If you have to dry the dishes (‘Stead of going to the store) If you have to dry the dishes And you drop one on the floor Maybe they won’t let you Dry the dishes anymore – Shel Silverstein

Beware of being the roller / When there’s nothing left to roll – Shel Silverstein

Rockabye Baby, in the treetopDont you know a treetopis no safe place to rock?And who put you up there,and your cradle too?Baby,I think someone down herehas got it in for you! – 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

Imagine – four years you could have spent travelling around Europe meeting people, or going to the Far East of Africa or India, meeting people, exchanging ideas, reading all you wanted to anyway, and instead I wasted it at Roosevelt. – Shel Silverstein

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

Have you been to The Land of Happy,Where everyone’s happy all day,Where they joke and they singOf the happiest things,And everything’s jolly and gay?There’s no one unhappy in Happy, There’s laughter and smiles galore.I have been to The Land of Happy – What a bore! – Shel Silverstein

Sometimes I get so depressed ‘Bout what I haven’t done. -NEVER – Shel Silverstein

So please get your rags And your polishing jars, Somebody has to go polish the stars. – Shel Silverstein

I tried on the farmer’s hat, Didn’t fit. . . A little too small – just a bit Too floppy. . . . . I tried on the summer sun, Felt good. Nice and warm – knew it would. Tried the grass beneath bare feet, Felt neat. Finally, finally felt well dressed, Nature’s clothes fit me best. – 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

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

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

To me, freedom entitles you to do something, not to not do something. – Shel Silverstein

If you want to marry me, here’s what you’ll have to do: You must learn how to make a perfect chicken-dumpling stew. And you must sew my holey socks, And soothe my troubled mind, And develop the knack for scratching my back, And keep my shoes spotlessly shined. And while I rest you must rake up the leaves, And when it is hailing and snowing You must shovel the walk…and be still when I talk, And-hey-where are you going? – 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 and unzip your fly for you. – Shel Silverstein

There’s a great myth about cartoonists, writers and people that are on TV. – Shel Silverstein

I was always prepared for success but that means that I have to be prepared for failure, too. – Shel Silverstein

I was so lucky that I didn’t have anyone to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style, I was creating before I knew there was a Thurber, a Benchley, a Price and a Steinberg. I never saw their work until I was around thirty. – Shel Silverstein

It’s always a nice feeling, having people think that you feel things much deeper than you’re allowed to say, but this isn’t true. If you want to find out what a writer or a cartoonist really feels, look at his work. That’s enough. – Shel Silverstein

And the boy loved the tree…….very much. And the tree was happy. – Shel Silverstein

A hippo sandwich is easy to make. All you do is simply take one slice of bread, one slice of cake, some mayonnaise, one onion ring, one hippopotamus, one piece of string, a dash of pepper. That ought to do it. And now comes the problem… biting into it! – 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

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

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

TREE HOUSE A tree house, a free house, A secret you and me house, A high up in the leafy branches Cozy as can be house. A street house, a neat house, Be sure to wipe your feet house Is not my kind of house at all- Let’s go live in a tree house. – 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

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend, or wise man can decide what’s right for you. – Shel Silverstein

I’m making a list I’m making a list of things I must say For politeness, And goodness and kindness and gentleness Sweetness and rightness: Hello Pardon me How are you? Excuse me Bless you May I? Thank you Goodbye If you know some that I’ve forgot, Please stick them in you eye! – Shel Silverstein

Instead of tug o’ war, let’s play hug o’ war. – Shel Silverstein

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

Runny’s Nicpic One day Runny Babbit Met little Franny Fog. He said, Let’s have a nicpic Down by the lollow hog. He brought some cutter bookies, Some teanuts and some pea. And what did Franny Fog bring? Her whole fog framily. – Shel Silverstein

i made myself a snowball As perfect as can be. I thought I’d keep it as a pet, And let it sleep with me. I made it some pajamas And a pillow for it’s head. Then last night it ran away, But first – It wet the bed. – 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

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

He has the obligation to society that any human being has. I don’t think a satirist has any greater obligation to society than a bricklayer or anybody else. – Shel Silverstein

Whatever you are is all okay. I don’t like you anyway. – Shel Silverstein

So I’m all of love that could make it today. – Shel Silverstein

God says to me with a kind of smile, Hey how would you like to be God awhile And steer the world? . . . . How much do I get? What time is lunch? . . . . Gimme back that wheel, says God. I don’t think you’re quite ready yet. – Shel Silverstein

Everything isn’t everything – Shel Silverstein

Stand-up comics reflect less of a visual humor and more of a commentary. – 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

The baby bat Screamed out in fright, ‘Turn on the dark, I’m afraid of the light. – Shel Silverstein

G’bye, I’m going out to play! – Shel Silverstein

If you want to find out what a writer or a cartoonist really feels, look at his work. That’s enough. – 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

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

There’s a Polar Bear In our Frigidaire– He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there. With his seat in the meat And his face in the fish And his big hairy paws In the buttery dish, He’s nibbling the noodles, And munching the rice, He’s slurping the soda, He’s licking the ice. And he lets out a roar If you open the door. And it gives me a scare To know he’s in there– That Polary Bear In our Fridgitydaire. – Shel Silverstein

Ourchestra: So you haven’t got a drum, just beat your belly. So I haven’t got a horn-I’ll play my nose. So we haven’t any cymbals- We’ll just slap our hands together, And though there may be orchestras That sound a little better With their fancy shiny instruments That cost an awful lot- Hey, we’re making music twice as good By playing what we’ve got! – Shel Silverstein

‘I don’t need very much now,’ said the boy, ‘just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.’ ‘Well,’ said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.’And the boy did. And the tree was happy. – Shel Silverstein

God says to me with kind of a smile,Hey how would you like to be God awhileAnd steer the world?Okay, says I, I’ll give it a try.Where do I set?How much do I get?What time is lunch?When can I quit?Gimme back that wheel, says God,I don’t think you’re quite ready yet. – 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

If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain’t enough! – Shel Silverstein

I would hope that people, no matter what age, would find something to identify with in my books, pick one up and experience a personal sense of discovery. That’s great. But for them, not for me. – Shel Silverstein

The bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone. – Shel Silverstein

When I was a kid I would much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls, but I couldn’t play ball. I couldn’t dance. Luckily, the girls didn’t want me. Not much I could do about that. So I started to draw and to write By the time I got to where I was attracting girls, I was already into work, and it was more important to me. Not that I wouldn’t rather make love, but the work has become a habit. – Shel Silverstein

why can’t you see i’m a kid’, said the kid. Why try to make me like you? Why are you hurt when I don’t cuddle? Why do you sigh when I splash through a puddle? Why do you scream when I do what I did? Im a kid. – Shel Silverstein

Knock! knock! who’s there? me! me who? that’s right? what’s right? meehoo! that’s what I want to know! what’s what you want to know? me who? yes, exactly! exactly what? yes, I have exactlywatt on a chain! exactly what on a chain? yes! yes what? no, exactlywatt! that’s what I want to know! I told you-exactlywatt! exactly what? yes! yes what? yes it’s with me. what’s with you? exactlywatt-that’s what with me. me who? yes! go away! knock knock… – 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

I myself do not believe in explaining anything. – Shel Silverstein

One day he said, I’ll tell this town How it feels to be an unfunny clown. And he told them all why he looked so sad, And he told them all why he felt so bad. He told of Pain and Rain and Cold, He told of Darkness in his soul, And after he finished his tale of woe, Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no, They laughed until they shook the trees… And while the world laughed outside. Cloony the Clown sat down and cried. – Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! – Shel Silverstein

FROZEN DREAM I’ll take the dream I had last night And put it in my freezer, So someday long and far away When I’m an old grey geezer, I’ll take it out and thaw it out, This lovely dream I’ve frozen, And boil it up and sit me down A dip my old cold toes in. – 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

At night my mind does not much care if what it thinks is here or there. It tells me stories, it invents and makes up things that don’t make sense. I do not know why it does this stuff. The real world seems quite weird enough. – 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

If we meet and I say, Hi, That’s a salutation. If you ask me how I feel, That’s a consideration. If we stop and talk awhile, That’s a conversation. If we understand each other, That’s communication. If we argue, scream and fight, That’s an altercation. If later we apologize, That’s a reconciliation. If we help each other home, That’s cooperation. And all these ations added up Make civilization. (And if I say this is a wonderful poem, Is that exaggeration?) – Shel Silverstein

Did you hear ’bout Ticklish Tom? He got tickled by his mom. Wiggled and giggled and fell on the floor, . . . . And all the more that he kept gigglin’, All the more folks kept ticklin’. He shrieked and screamed and rolled around, Laughed his way right out of town. Through the country down the road, He got tickled by a toad. . . . . Giggling, rolling on his back He rolled on the railroad track. Rumble, rumble, whistle, roar- Tom ain’t ticklish any more. – Shel Silverstein

Oh, I’m being eaten By a boa constrictor, A boa constrictor, A boa constrictor, I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor, And I don’t like it–one bit. Well, what do you know? It’s nibblin’ my toe. Oh, gee, It’s up to my knee. Oh my, It’s up to my thigh. Oh, fiddle, It’s up to my middle. Oh, heck, It’s up to my neck. Oh, dread, It’s upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . . . – Shel Silverstein

Listen to the voice that speaks inside – Shel Silverstein

All The Woulda-Coulda-ShouldasLayin’ In The Sun,Talkin’ ‘Bout The ThingsThey Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done…But All Those Woulda-Coulda-ShouldasAll Ran Away And HidFrom One Little Did. – Shel Silverstein

I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain, And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can’t do a handstand– I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said– I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head. – Shel Silverstein

If you’re behind the times, they won’t notice you. If you’re right in tune with them, you’re no better than they are, so they won’t care much for you. Be just a little ahead of them. – 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

You don’t have to shoot me, says the young lion. I will be your rug and I will lie in front of your fireplace and I won’t move a muscle and you can sit on me and toast all the marshmallows you want. I love marshmallows. – Shel Silverstein

He was almost there, when…Smash! Crash! Bash! He slid down and mashed into engine hash the little engine that almost could. – Shel Silverstein

Oh the thumb-sucker’s thumb May look wrinkled and wet And withered, and white as the snow, But the taste of a thumb Is the sweetest taste yet (As only we thumb-sucker’s know). – Shel Silverstein

Eighteen luscuios scrumpitous flavors, Chocolate,Lime and Cherry Coffee,Pumpkin, Fudge-Banana, Caramel Cream and boysenberry. Rocky Road and Toasted Almond, Butterscotch,Vanilla Dip, Butter Brinkle, Apple Ripple,Coconut,and Mocha Chip, Brandy Peach and Lemon Custard. Each scoop lovely.smooth and round. Tallest cream cone in town lying there on the ground. – Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends, And before the street begins, And there the grass grows soft and white, And there the sun burns crimson bright, And there the moon-bird rests from his flight To cool in the peppermint wind. – Shel Silverstein

It’s all the same to the clam. – Shel Silverstein

If you’re sloppy, that’s just fine. If you’re moody, I won’t mind. If you’re fat, that’s fine with me. If you’re skinny, let it be. If you’re bossy, that’s all right. if you’re nasty, I won’t fight. If you’re rough, well that’s just you. If you’re mean, that’s all right too. Whatever you are is all okay. I don’t like you anyway. – Shel Silverstein

You’d better get your laugh while you’re making your point, or you won’t be doing it very long. – Shel Silverstein

One sister for sale, One sister for sale, One crying and spying young sister for sale I’m really not kidding so who’ll start the bidding Do I hear a dollar? A nickle? A penny? Oh isnt there isnt there isnt there any One person who will buy this sister for sale This crying spying old young sister for sale. – Shel Silverstein

It was missing a piece. And it was not happy. So it set off in search of its missing piece. And as it rolled it sang this song – 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

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