ONCE THERE WAS A GIVING TREE

by Its funny to be delicate with something that is explosive

HAL: Do you think your style has improved or matured since you left Pacific Stars & Stripes’?

SHEL: Yes, I think my style has improved a lot but not 13 years worth.

HAL: Is this why you feel the field of the cartoonist is too limited, then?

SHEL: No, there is never an art form that is limited. The person is limited. I don’t think I’m too limited. I think my stuff is pretty extraordinary, but it’s not growing by leaps and bounds. In the beginning with an art form, you progress about 100 percent every day until you get good. Then, maybe you get to be 5 percent better each day. And then you get to be really, really tired. And then you maybe get to be one millionth of one percent better.

HAL: Then, once you get to be really good, you have nowhere else to go.

SHEL: No, there are places I could go but you just can’t move at the same speed. I’ve got years to do it in and I can improve enough in the next 20 years — but it isn’t exciting at times. The newness of something is what’s exciting.

HAL: Shel, have you ever had any formal instruction in art, such as an art school?

SHEL: Yeah, 1 was through the art school at the University of Illinois for one useless semester. And then I was at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts for one summer semester.

NEW SHELL SILVERSTEIN COLLECTION OUT CALLED “EVERYTHING ON IT” 

it was compiled post mortem obviously, the poet rockstar version of THIS IS IT aint no thang

shell silverstein wasn’t my bag as a kid actually, I preferred Seuss and my collections of nautical poems. My appreciation for Shell Silverstein has grown over the years for myriad reasons. He feeds young brains, and I like that. Also, of course he is clearly a genius with rhyme and meter. But mostly, one of his poems is so thoroughly stuck in my brain I encounter it in there sometimes on a daily basis.

Whenever it gets really hot out and I enter a heat delirium, I recite the poem in my head until usually I end up reciting random chunks out loud. and then people get confused.
I really like the idea of taking your skin off and wallowing in your bones.

It’s Hot!
By Shel Silverstein

It’s hot!
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade,
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.

It’s hot!
My back is sticky,
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.

It’s hot!
I’ve tried with ‘lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.

It’s still hot!

~

“Once upon a more staid time, the purpose of children’s books was to model good behavior. They were meant to edify and to encourage young readers to be what parents wanted them to be, and the children in their pages were well behaved, properly attired and devoid of tears. Children’s literature was not supposed to shine a light on the way children actually were, or delight in the slovenly, self-interested and disobedient side of their natures.

Seuss, Sendak and Silverstein ignored these rules. They brought a shock of subversion to the genre — defying the notion that children’s books shouldn’t be scary, silly or sophisticated. Rather than reprimand the wayward listener, their books encouraged bad (or perhaps just human) behavior.”

(NYT via Library Stuff)

why grow up when there are poets saying its ok to be naughty? SIIIIIIIIIIGH