Photo: A Place Where the Sidewalk Ends

Photo of a sidewalk ending with green grass beyond. A sign blocks the end of the sidewalk, reading:

Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

When do you introduce poetry to a child? My almost-3-year-old has taken to rhyming words and making up fake words, so I wonder. Her comprehension far exceeds her ability to express her thoughts. Maybe I’ll try some of Shel Silverstein’s simpler poems.

Incidentally, the photo above was taken for the Fiona Project, but the project would only accept two images from me and I gave ‘em eight, so it is one that didn’t make the cut. It’s easily the ugliest of the bunch, but also the most poetic. The sidewalk resumes on the other side of the street—a highway—and if you don’t survive the crossing you may still complete the journey anyway. A cemetery is located across the street.


5 Responses to “Photo: A Place Where the Sidewalk Ends”

  1. Katy says:

    Jack Prelutsky also has several kid-oriented poetry collections. I like Silverstein better, myself, but my kids prefer Prelutsky. (And dramatic readings by Dad are always a hit.)

    And don’t forget mother goose rhymes, either — there are many illustrated editions if she’s in a more visual mood. We have _Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose_ on recommendation from some blog, somewhere, about three years ago.

    April 14th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

  2. STL Mom says:

    My six-year-old loves Shel Silverstein. My four-year-old loves “My First Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne, which surprisingly is all poems, not Winnie the Pooh stories.
    Both of my kids, when 2 and 3, loved our Mother Goose books illustrated by Rosemary Wells (all the characters are adorable little animals). If you like to sing, Wells also illustrated a book of lyrics from Gilbert & Sullivan musicals which is a lot of fun.

    April 16th, 2007 at 10:31 am

  3. JB says:

    The more I visit Thingamababy, the more I realize it is time to take a trip to Humboldt County. I think I know exactly where that shot was taken.

    In fact, I think my old Shel Silverstein books are still up there…so now I’ll really have to make the trip so I can get them back!

    ~ JB

    April 19th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

  4. Carol says:

    I used to work at Pierson Building Center :)


    I miss home.

    April 21st, 2007 at 9:40 pm

  5. Brian O,Connor says:

    I went there once……… Ya I droped my walet over the side. It had like 2 grand in it…… I was mad

    November 7th, 2007 at 5:40 pm

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