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Shel Silverstein Quotes from the Creative Genius

Enjoy these Shel Silverstein quotes that will take you back to studying poetry as a child.

If you enjoyed reading Silverstein’s stories as a child, the quotes below will take you back to that time. Shel has a special ability to bring a smile to your face through his stories and poems.

A Painting of Shel Silverstein

While these quotes might take you back to your childhood, the truly special thing is how the quotes are so inspiring. Whether you are young or old, enjoy the quotes and let them inspire you to do what is important to you.

Just like Shel Silverstein explains, if you choose to put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. Enjoy the Shel Silverstein quotes below.

Don’t forget to also check out these Noam Chomsky quotes from the father of linguistics.

Inspiring Shel Silverstein quotes

1. “If there is a book that you want to read but isn’t written yet, write it.” – Shel Silverstein

2. “To me, freedom entitles you to do something. Not to not do something.” – Shel Silverstein

3. “It’s amazing the difference a bit of sky can make.” – Shel Silverstein

4. “What I do is good. I wouldn’t let it out if I didn’t think it was.” – Shel Silverstein

5. “I think if you’re a creative person, you should just go about your business, do your work and not care about how it’s received.” – Shel Silverstein

6. “I never read reviews, because if you believe the good ones you have to believe the bad ones too.” – Shel Silverstein

7. “Don’t be dependent on anyone else.” – Shel Silverstein

8. “Never explain what you do. It speaks for itself. You only muddle it by talking about it.” – Shel Silverstein

9. “Just ’cause somethin’ ain’t been done don’t mean it can’t be did…” – Shel Silverstein

10. “Anything can happen. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

Wise Shel Silverstein quotes

11. “Everything isn’t everything.” – Shel Silverstein

12. “Don’t know where he’s going but sees where he’s been.” – Shel Silverstein

13. “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child.” – Shel Silverstein

14. “I was always prepared for success but that means that I have to be prepared for failure, too.” – Shel Silverstein

15. “When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?” – Shel Silverstein

16. “I can be someone’s and still be my own.” – Shel Silverstein

17. “This bridge will take you halfway there – the last few steps you will have to take yourself.” – Shel Silverstein

18. “How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em.” – Shel Silverstein

19. “Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.” – Shel Silverstein

20. “There is a place where the sidewalk ends.” – Shel Silverstein

Intriguing Shel Silverstein quotes from his poems and books

21. “Once I spoke the language of the flowers, Once I understood each word the caterpillar said, Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings, And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed. Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets, And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow, Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . . How did it go? How did it go?” – Shel Silverstein

22. “Listen to the voice that speaks inside.” – Shel Silverstein

23. “Thanksgiving dinner’s sad and thankless. Christmas dinner’s dark and blue. When you stop and try to see it From the turkey’s point of view. Sunday dinner isn’t sunny. Easter feasts are just bad luck. When you see it from the viewpoint of a chicken or a duck. Oh how I once loved tuna salad Pork and lobsters, lamb chops too Till I stopped and looked at dinner From the dinner’s point of view.”- Shel Silverstein

If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of Easter quotes, celebrating the holiday.

24. “If you’re a bird, be an early bird. But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” – Shel Silverstein

25. “Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.” – Shel Silverstein

26. “An oak tree and a rosebush grew, Young and green together, Talking the talk of growing things- Wind and water and weather. And while the rosebush sweetly bloomed The oak tree grew so high That now it spoke of newer things- Eagles, mountain peaks and sky. “I guess you think you’re pretty great,” The rose was heard to cry, Screaming as loud as it possibly could To the treetop in the sky. “And now you have no time for flower talk, Now that you’ve grown so tall.” “It’s not so much that I’ve grown,” said the tree, “It’s just that you’ve stayed so small.”” – Shel Silverstein

27. “Since my friend left me, I’ve got nothing to do but walking. I walk to forget. I walk, I escape, I get further. My friend will not come back, now I am a marathon man.” – Shel Silverstein

28. “If you are a dreamer come in.” – Shel Silverstein

29. “And the tree was happy.” – Shel Silverstein

30. “We’re all worth the same when we turn off the light.” – Shel Silverstein

Motivational Shel Silverstein quotes

31. “ALICE She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME And she grew so tall, She ate from a plate called TASTE ME And down she shrank so small. And so she changed, while other folks Never tried nothin’ at all.” – Shel Silverstein

32. “When I am gone what will you do? Who will write and draw for you? Someone smarter–someone new? Someone better–maybe YOU!” – Shel Silverstein

33. “It’s all the same to the clam.” – Shel Silverstein

34. “I believe that if you don’t want to do anything, then sit there and don’t do it, but don’t expect people to hand you a corn beef sandwich and wash your socks for you.” – Shel Silverstein

35. “So I’m all of love that could make it today.” – Shel Silverstein

36. “And he didn’t really know where he was going, but he did know he was going somewhere because you really have to go somewhere, don’t you?” – Shel Silverstein

37. “I would hope that people, no matter what age, would find something to identify within my books, pick one up and experience a personal sense of discovery. That’s great. But for them, not for me.” – Shel Silverstein

38. “It’s always a nice feeling, having people think that you feel things much deeper than you’re allowed to say, but this isn’t true. If you want to find out what a writer or a cartoonist really feels, look at his work. That’s enough.” – Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein quotes that will elevate your perspective

39. “People are always giving you credit for really wanting to say more than you said.” – Shel Silverstein

40. “How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ‘em.” – Shel Silverstein

41. “I keep meeting all the right people at all the wrong times.” – Shel Silverstein

42. “Make it so good and so clear that it doesn’t need any further explanation.” – Shel Silverstein

43. “If we were a rock ‘n’ roll band, we’d travel all over the land. We’d play and we’d sing and wear spangly things, if we were a rock ‘n’ roll band.” – Shel Silverstein

44. “If I had a brontosaurus, I would name him Horace or Morris. But if suddenly one day he had A lot of little brontosauri- I would change his name to Laurie.” – Shel Silverstein

45. “If you are a dreamer, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin; come in! Come in!” – Shel Silverstein

46. “Eddie touched a troll.” – Shel Silverstein

47. “We can’t hold hands- someone might see. Won’t you please hold toes with me?” – Shel Silverstein

48. “He wasted his wishes on wishing.” – Shel Silverstein

49. “Teddy said it was a hat, So I put it on. Now dad is saying, “where the heck’s the toilet plunger gone?” – Shel Silverstein

50. “If the track is tough and the hill is rough, thinking you can just ain’t enough!” – Shel Silverstein

More Shel Silverstein quotes and sayings

51. “There are no happy endings, endings are sad-so let’s have a happy beginning and a happy middle.” – Shel Silverstein

52. “And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.” – Shel Silverstein

53. “Comfortable shoes and the freedom to leave are the two most important things in life.” – Shel Silverstein

54. “But all the magic I have known, I’ve had to make myself.” – Shel Silverstein

55. “I want to go everywhere, look at and listen to everything. You can go crazy with some of the wonderful stuff there is in life.” – Shel Silverstein

56. “I myself do not believe in explaining anything.” – Shel Silverstein

57. “You’d better get your laugh while you’re making your point, or you won’t be doing it very long.” – Shel Silverstein

58. “If you’re behind the times, they won’t notice you. If you’re right in tune with them, you’re no better than they are, so they won’t care much for you. Be just a little ahead of them.” – Shel Silverstein

59. “What you’ve got to say, you say.” – Shel Silverstein

60. “He has the obligation to society that any human being has. I don’t think a satirist has any greater obligation to society than a bricklayer or anybody else.” – Shel Silverstein

Which of these Shel Silverstein quotes is your favorite?

Now that you have had a chance to enjoy these quotes from Shel Silverstein, have they inspired you to try something new or to chase a dream? One of the reasons that Shel was able to connect to so many people through his stories is that he was writing about people who do things and have adventures.

Whether you want a so-called adventure or not is up to you. The point is don’t waste your precious life on wishes. Get out there and do something.

Write a story, start a new career, live that adventurous life or just follow your dreams. Whatever you decide to do I hope that like Shel Silverstein, you will encourage others to do the same.

Which of these Shel Silverstein quotes and sayings resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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