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 thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years…
So begins the touching, magical, and often hilarious, collection of 145 previously unpublished poems from beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein. I read the book in one sitting on New Year’s Day, and absolutely loved it. Reading children’s poetry and books at this age helps me to realize even more clearly the underlying messages in them. A number of lines stood out to me, a few of them I’ve listed below:
This surely ain’t the magic
I was hopin’.
I guess in life it all depends
Which magic flask you open. – THE GENIE IN THE FLASK
She had blue skin
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through.
Then passed right by–
And never knew. – MASKS
Though it’s a posthumous publication put together by his family and original editor, Shel’s spirit and input is felt within every page, and the design of it stays true to his previous works. If you’ve read Where The Sidewalk Ends or The Giving Tree (which always brings tears to my eyes), you will love this never-before-seen collection. It’s one of those books that needs to be in everyone’s library. Like his other books, you will go back to it over and over throughout your life, and, eventually, pass it on. Shel Silverstein was one of those rare and masterful writers who penned works ostensibly for children, but with so much beauty and truth and humor that they can touch that last, faded remnant of innocence that even the crabbiest adults still have deep down in their shriveled little souls. Please do yourselves a favour and read this book!