Saturday, January 14, 2012

Every Thing On It

Every Thing On It. Shel Silverstein. 2011. HarperCollins. 208 pages.

Years From Now

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.

Every Thing On It made me giddy. It did. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. I think it is my favorite of the later Shel Silverstein collections. It is just as worthy to be on everyone's shelves as Where The Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. It is so, so, so much better than recent offerings like Runny Babbit A Billy Sook and Don't Bump the Glump and Other Fantasies. If you grew up LOVING Shel Silverstein's poetry, then this newest collection is an absolute must!!!

Some of these poems are just fabulous. Just wonderful. Some are happy; some are sad. Quite a few are quirky and weird. A few are beautifully bittersweet. Some are very thoughtful and insightful. Others are just as silly as can be. I think this collection has something for every reader.

I think this is a book EVERYONE needs to read. I just loved, loved, loved it.

Here's one called The Dollhouse

You can't crawl back in the dollhouse--
You've gotten too big to get in.
You've got to live here
Like the rest of us do.
You've got to walk roads
That are winding and new.
But oh, I wish I could
Crawl back with you,
Into the dollhouse again. (151)

and here's a little one called Spider:
A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years.... (190)

And here is Eatin' Soup
Eatin' soup with chopsticks--
I should be finished soon.
Eatin' soup with chopsticks
While whistlin' a tune.
Eatin' soup with chopsticks
Because I have no spoon.
Eatin' soup with chopsticks
Can take all afternoon. (185)

And here's The Clock Man
"How much will you pay for an extra day?"
The clock man asked the child.
"Not one penny," the answer came,
"For my days are as many as smiles."

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"
He asked when the child was grown.
"Maybe a dollar or maybe less,
For I've plenty of days on my own."

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"
He asked when the time came to die.
"All of the pearls in all of the seas,
And all of the stars in the sky." (95)

And here's the final poem of the collection:

When I Am Gone

When I am gone what will you do?
Who will write and draw for you?
Someone smarter--someone new?
Someone better--maybe YOU! (194)
Read Every Thing On It:
  • If you are a fan of Shel Silverstein
  • If you grew up reading Where The Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up
  • If your only experience with Shel Silverstein is The Giving Tree, and you've been meaning to give him another try
  • If you're looking for a poem collection that appeals to readers of all ages; there are plenty of poems with kid-appeal (though I didn't necessarily quote those in this review); but there are so many that will appeal to older readers as well. A few I think are meant more for adults than kids. But that's the great thing about collections--different poems speak to different people.
  • If you're looking to read poems that you can actually understand and relate to.
To read more poems from this collection, here's a post about the book. (Poems shared "Every Thing On It," "Dirty Clothes," "Happy Birthday," and "Italian Food.") And this site seems to share many, many Silverstein poems. Including Happy Ending?

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jake and Danica said...

I bought this book for my husband because he has almost all the other ones. We've been reading it so far and love it! We told my brother-in-law about it and he thought silverstein had died. Did you get the feeling that this would be the last book based on his last poem? That he's telling his fans he's done and it's up to them to pick up the torch? Just curious.

Becky said...

Shel Silverstein died in 1999. This is one of a handful of books published after his death. I think this book is just lovely--I love how the first poem and last poem work together well. I think the book is great at showcasing his legacy. He may be gone, but he still has the ability to touch and inspire his fans through his poems and drawings.

Kailana said...

I really do need to read this.

L.H. Thomson said...

He wrote such touching poems.

It's funny, because you think of them as being written for kids, really, and so simple in context, but they're so charming for anyone to enjoy.

Unknown said...

Silverstein has always been a favorite of mine. He was one of the first poets that I read as a child and he holds a special place in my heart.

Thanks for sharing his new collection. I might have to get it, even if it is just for memories sake.

Greg Pincus said...

I'm pretty sure there'll be more books coming. Why am I sure? Cuz of this great article on the Poetry Foundation website - Everything In It. It's all about Shel Silverstein, what he's left behind and the love and care going into managing it all. A great read. (And Becky - I really liked the book, too!)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I love Shelf Silverstein and have been dying to read this one! I'm so glad to hear it didn't disappoint.