Shel Silverstein Cole Loewen

Shel was born in Chicago Illinois into a Jewish family. He was drafted into the military during university and served in Korea and Japan. He married Susan Taylor, had one daughter with Susan. His wife died in 1975 and his daughter in 1982. He married again and had a son with Sarah Spencer.

The Ugliest Man in Town

Handsome guys get girls that are pretty,

Other guys make it cause they're clever and witty,

But the only love I ever got, I got out of pity,

'Cause I'm the ugliest guy in town.

Yeah, I drive down the road in a platinum car,

Use hundred dollar bills to light my cigar,

But still an' all, you know, that won't get you very far,

When you're the ugliest man in town.

There was a note on the doorstep where I was found,

Is said, "This sweet child weighs eleven pounds,

So bring him up healthy, wealthy and sound,

Keep his back to the light, don't let him turn around.

Yeah, all you women, you're heartless and cold.

All you want is my silver and gold.

Say now, don't you know I've got a beautiful soul,

Though I'm the ugliest man in town?

Yeah, I'm so ugly, I shave in the dark,

Kids start to cry when I walk through the park,

Clocks stop tickin' and dogs start to bark

Whenever I'm around.

Yeah, I walk down the street and the girls all hiss me,

If I died tomorrow, not one of them would miss me.

Only reason they ball me is they can't stand to kiss me.

I'm the ugliest man in town.

Oh, yeah, the ugliest man in town.

Shel Silverstein - Ugliest Man In Town

Silverstein rhymes a lot in his poems usually using humor too. Silverstein's poems are mostly funny because they're unrealistic and exaggerated. Take the the poem above, clocks won’t stop ticking just because someone walked past it. Using the basic quatrain stanza formation it makes it easy for him to rhyme and give rhythm to his works. Silverstein uses many poetic devices; onomatopoeia, simile, personification, and alliteration. Silverstein’s sense of humor, in poems, was generally dark and Silverstein could be irreverent at times. Thus giving his poems a distinct taste while reading.

I think that this poem can be tied to a gay man. Because back in the 1960’s when Silverstein released it gay’s weren’t accepted as they are now. The poem is trying to explain how the gay man feels while walking through town and just being an outcast. Almost as if someone can catch the gay like they could catch leprosy.

My Poems.

Norris The Nub

I met her one day, walking in the park

She had a certain glow, like a light in the dark

Her complexion is unmatched, she's every girl's demise

Luscious hair, a beautiful smile, and silver eyes

Is this what falling in love feels like? My head shakes

My stomach is twisted, my chest aches

This cannot be right,

One does not simply fall in love at first sight

One. Two. Three. It's all up to me

It's do or die

So I say


Sally Dismay

Sally Dismay came up to me one day

“Do you love me” she said

“I’ll love you when cats and dogs rain from the sky”

And with that i went on my way

She ran after me crying

“I’ll love you tomorrow”

“I’ll love you next week”

So I pulled out my gun and shot at her feet

And that very next day from across the street

“I love you! I love you!” called Sally Dismay

With a groan and a sigh, I looked her in the eye

“Sally Dismay, Sally Dismay. I hate you, please be on your way”

Next week came along without a Sally in sight

“Ahhh this is going to be a lovely night”

Little did I know that to night was the night

Where my life would be changed forever

Just before dawn I wake with a jump

I look out my window, my eyes wide as can be

It’s raining cats and dogs I see

I take a step back, what happens next?

So I string up a rope

I won’t love sally dismay

She’s a failure and a joke

So you see, I must end it this way.

A Climber's Life

It hurts when you start

In your hands

And in your feet

There is no way to cheat

Climb all day

Sleep all night

Now, don’t get hurt

Be wary and alert

Travel around the world

From mountain top to mountain top

Does it ever look so small

Please answer your mother's call

Climbing solo

No ropes no pads

One tiny fall

It’s the end of it all

As a poet I've learned that poetry isn’t all about rhyming. Although you can use rhyming schemes in your poetry it’s not the only thing to be used. Alliteration, consonance, assonance, similes, metaphors, and symbolism are all things poets use to make their poems come to life, so to speak. Also, the formatting of the poem itself is used by poets to give the poem's rhythm. In the three poems I created I used; rhyming, symbolism, some similes, and dark humor. Which is one of Silverstein's techniques, he uses dark humor in lots of his poems to keep his humorous theme but also to be serious at times. I don’t think that I’m great at making poems and applying the devices to my poems but the only real way to get better at it is practice. I enjoyed writing these poems and so if i end up writing more outside of a school project i can work on applying the devices to make my poems better.

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