Many people who grew up reading — or having read to them — Shel Silverstein’s books, like “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “A Light in the Attic,” or “The Giving Tree,” are sometimes known to rattle off a line or two of his poetry in day-to-day life. Musicians and singers will gather to do the same at Shelebration!, a tribute to the poet and songwriter’s life and work taking place as part of Central Park’s Summerstage. The event will also serve as a debut for poems from Silverstein’s upcoming book of poetry, “Everything On It.”
Silverstein was a prolific writer, producing books right up until his death in 1999. Poems like “Sick” (“‘I cannot go to school today’…I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps”) and “For Sale” (“One crying and spying young sister for sale!”) have become staples of American childhood and poetry.
Draw a crazy picture, Write a nutty poem, Sing a mumble-gumble song, Whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance ‘Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world That ain’t been there before. –
In addition to being a well-known poet, cherished by kids and adults alike for his simultaneously comedic and substantial poems, he was also a songwriter, known for such songs as Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue,” for which Silverstein won a Grammy award in 1970.