Beloved Poet, Shel Silverstein

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Do you remember reading comical poetry such as The Giving Tree during your childhood? Its author, Shel Silverstein, was one of the most recognizable children’s poets and poetry icons that has ever lived. He holds a household name due to the fact that despite his past he is able to help form a future in language, poetry, and the arts for the innovators of tomorrow. Silverstein’s works captured the essence of a person’s childhood and changed poetry and children’s literature forever. Sheldon Allan Silverstein was not always the literature icon he quickly became in the mid 20th century. Born on September 25, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois during the Great Depression. He was not a very sociable child. His hobbies included drawing cartoons and writing. As a result, his professional drawing and writing career began with cartooning and writing for Playboy Magazine, in 1952. He was also not popular with girls during his teenage year, which motivated him to write more mature poetry in the future about love. Silverstein wanted to reach out to all age groups and express that his talent was not only used for the entertainment of children, but for everyone. Silverstein didn’t write to impress others “… he did “hope that people no matter what age, would find something to identify… and experience a personal sense of discovery”.” in his poetry (Shel Silverstein 1999). Silverstein was divorced and had one daughter, who died in her childhood. He served in the armed forces during the 1950’s, and

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