"Where The Sidewalk Ends"

In Fun
Two poems, including the title poem
Two poems, including the title poem

  This well-loved copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends, a poetry collection by Shel Silverstein, was formative in my childhood, and I plan to make it a meaningful part of my own children’s lives someday. My parents read and reread all these poems to me countless times when I was younger, and I like to think that this helped form the person I am today. Many of the poems bring up fantastical and whimsical ideas, such as a sidewalk that extends to the edge of the world and then simply drops off, a planet where humanoid creatures walk around with faces on their backsides, and a pair of pants that frolics and dances with no legs inside. Such plotlines may sound ridiculous and unnecessary, but they stimulated my imagination as a child and led to many a convoluted pretend game, which I would contentedly play for hours in my room. The book also holds important lessons for children disguised as catchy rhyming poems. One such poem that always stuck out to me was “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out.” This poem spoke of a pile of garbage that got so preposterously enormous that it reached from New York to California. As a child, I certainly took this to heart and stayed on top of my chores for fear of suffering Miss Stout’s frightening fate. Furthermore, these poems gave me a love of creative writing early in life and facilitated quality time with my parents. I hope this book stays in my family for generations, so that my children and their children and so on can grow up wondering what exactly lies beyond the end of the sidewalk… 

– AS

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more