Friday, October 1, 2010

Banned Poetry #3

When I was little, my favorite book was Where the Sidewalk Ends. I still have my original copy in which I have carefully marked with lime green crayon all my favorite poems. These include "Hector the Collector," "Poem on the Neck of a Running Giraffe," and, of course, "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out." Is this why I have such a problem with my own trash-management?

I have written before about what a profound affect Mr. Silverstein had on me and my poetry. I'm sure others have similar feelings. And this time every year, I revisit my bewilderment that the man who gave the world The Giving Tree and A Light in the Attic could be banned. But it's true. For reasons as varied as encouraging disrespect of authority figures to promoting drug use, the occult and cannibalism (you know, cause "someone ate the baby"), Shel's books have been pulled from schools across the country.

So what to do? Read a little Shel for yourself this beautiful Friday. Visit his site for kids, which includes Shel-centric games and drawings (fun for adults too!). Or visit Sarah Weinman's Shel Silverstein Archive, which includes information on and links to his complete catalog, including the stories he wrote for Playboy and some of his naughtier songs.

Thanks for celebrating Banned Books Week with me. And Happy Friday!

1 comment:

Donna Cappello said...

We have satellite radio and occasionally his recordings of some of his poems will play on the comedy channel - I always think of you and cousin Stevie who also LOVES Shel!