where the sidewalk ends

Having been a fan of Shel Silverstein since my 2nd grade teacher (Miss Carol-Ann) introduced me to him, I was delighted find this piece of Mental Floss detailing how a guy who was thrown out of the University of Illinois rose to fame and became beloved by children (and adults) near and far.

After reading the link above, I felt compelled to pull down my own copy of A Light In The Attic (a gift for my 10th birthday) to share my favorite Shel Silverstein poem with you. I also feel compelled to share that I have been known to write rhyme to people I feel will get it – be they known followers of Shel or not. Which leads to emails like “My computer is fine for worky, but the fonts are kind of quirky.”

And now, on to the poem:


Clarence Lee from Tennessee
Loved the commercials he saw on T.V.
He watched with wide believing eyes
And bought everything they advertised-
Cream to make his skin feel better,
Spray to make his hair look wetter,
Bleach to make his white things whiter,
Stylish jeans that fit much tighter.
Tooth paste for his cavities,
Powder for his doggies fleas,
Purple mouthwash for his breath,
deodorant to stop his sweet.
He bought each cereal they presented,
bought each game that they invented.
Then one day he looked and saw
“A brand-new Maw, a better Paw!
New,improved in every way-
Hurry,orders yours today!”
So, of course, our little Clarence
Sent off for two brand-new parents.
The new ones came in the morning mail,
The old ones he sold at a garage sale.
And now they all are doing fine:
His new folks treat him sweet and kind,
His old ones work in an old coal mine.
So if your Maw and Pa are mean
And make you eat your lima beans
And make you wash and make you wait
And never let you stay up late
And scream and scold and preach and pout,
That simply means they’re wearing out.
So send off for two brand-new parents
And you’ll be as happy as little Clarence…

From A Light in the Attic
by Shel Silverstein

Comments are closed.