To view more poems I have examined, click HERE.


by Shel Silverstein

“I’ve discovered a way to stay friends forever—
There’s really nothing to it.
I simply tell you what to do
And you do it!!”


This funny poem is four short lines, with no set meter, and an ABCB rhyme scheme.

HuffPo wrote an interesting article about Silverstein with several obscure facts about the author. I’ll link to it HERE with an excerpt below:

He worked as a hot dog salesman in a baseball stadium for five years.

In the aforementioned interview, the interviewer asks Shel what he learned from his experience working in the Chicago Cubs and White Sox stadiums. He quipped: “I learned they like mustard. And they like a hot bun. Did you know that? If you steam the bun first, they’ll really like it.”

He actively hated happy endings.

Perhaps best known today for his morally ambiguous children’s book The Giving Tree, in which a boy repeatedly asks for more from the tree, and the tree happily relents, it’s no mystery that Silverstein wasn’t a fan of cut-and-dried conclusions. But in an interview with The New York Times, he made his viewpoint even clearer, publicly denouncing happy endings, saying they “create an alienation.” He said, “The child asks why I don’t have this happiness thing you’re telling me about, and comes to think when his joy stops that he has failed, that it won’t come back.”

Of The Giving Tree, he said, “It’s just a relationship between two people; one gives and the other takes.”

Five years is a long time to work concessions in a baseball stadium. It just goes to show that you never know what lies beneath the surface of the people with whom you interact. I very much doubt that the people who bought hot dogs from Silverstein had any inkling that he was a brilliant writer.