The Place Where the Sidewalk Ends

I’ve been sick with a cold these last few days, which is really a shame in the beginning of summer. But really, I don’t mind. At least for now. By default, I’ve set up my relaxation station on the couch, the kind with the coffee table closer than usual, to hold my Murchie’s tea mug. With four pillows behind my back, holding my head up. And a soft sheep’s wool blanket. The kleenex box sits next to my tea mug and a little garbage just squeezes to fit between the almost-too-close coffee table and the couch. I’ve got my books and my laptop and my phone with the earbuds plugged in. And the time passes by with stories, whether on camera or on paper, I get lost in worlds that take me far away from my kleenex box and tea mug. I finished Inkheart today, one of those books that I never get tired of. After I closed the end page of the book, I reopened it, flipping the first pages, wondering if the adventure was really over. I seemed to have missed before how it begins. 

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

I thought, I’ve read that before. I happened to have Where the Sidewalk Ends sitting on my nightstand. I opened it to the first page and Ah-hah! I had read it before. I remembered when I had read about Mo and Meggie reading about the moonbird, and later seeing that very moonbird, it seemed as though I could almost be Meggie, holding Silverstein’s book of treasure. Because I recognized the way those words fell together, the way the poetry was more than a poem, it was funny and light-hearted, yet it made all the world make so much more sense. Look at that, I’ve over-steeped my tea. I read an article the other day on how having a cold-brain-freeze isn’t just an urban legend, it’s scientifically true. That are brains actually function less well as our heads are filled with mucus. How exactly, I don’t remember, but the internet said it, so it must be true, right? 

I probably seem as though I’m just blabbering, which I am. But I felt as though I wanted to share this with you and so I am. And I’m a blogger, someone who writes about how she feels and how she thinks, and so who cares if one article is wonderfully formatted and the other is just absolute mayhem. 

I’ve also been reading this book called In the Palm of Your Hand, and I’m really enjoying it though it’s not my typical read. It’s about writing poetry. Which is why I have a stack of poetry on my nightstand. I write poetry, I’ve done so since forever. But I’ve never studied it. I never understood how to make the words flow exactly right or when to stop the line and hit the enter key. And so, I’m slowly digesting this book, because it’s not a book you read in one night. It has homework after each chapter and requires pausing and reflecting. 

I always thought that I was the only one in the known universe who wrote poetry. I thought it was out of date, something that only elementary-school kids were forced to do in English class. But I’ve begun to notice that there are people who still love poetry. People I don’t know. And people I do know. There are even people I know who have been poets all along and I just never knew that they hid in their room writing away just as I have done a million times. 

Poetry can be boring, if you haven’t learned how to savor them yet. It’s like sweet potatoes, it sounds weird and as if it just might not taste right. But, as time goes by, you might come to love them, you might even come to crave them. That’s what happened to me. I wrote poetry for school, but I never liked reading poems, they were so boring. As I began to crave to write poetry, when that became a way I expressed myself, I began to enjoy reading others poems. They made more sense. They sounded wonderful. Sometimes they were sad and mysterious, but in the end, beautiful. And now I crave to read poetry. Just like what happened with the sweet potatoes. Fry ‘em, mash ‘em, load marshmallows on ‘em, put ‘em in pasta, I love ‘em. 

Maybe it’s cliche or maybe it’s what Shel Silverstein wanted, but my favorite poem from his most famous book, is Where the Sidewalk Ends. Just listen to how the words fall off your tongue and how they come together to take you there, to that place, the place where the sidewalk ends.

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.

Let me know…

  • What do you think of poetry? Do you read them? Or write them?
  • What’s your favorite Shel Silverstein poem?

P.S. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a book of Thomas Hardy’s poems, ones that he wrote about the English countryside or something like that, I can’t find it anywhere except for on the UK Faber & Faber website. Have you read Hardy’s poetry? Should I keep searching?


6 Comments Add yours

  1. jeremyjames says:

    I’ve never quite got into poetry. I do have a few books though and recently bought Stephen fry’s book on reading and writing poetry so I’m keen to delve a little deeper


    1. I looked up Fry’s book on poetry, it looks interesting. It’d be cool to study a few books and do a bit of cross-referencing. Let me know how you like the book!


      1. jeremyjames says:

        It’s called The Ode less travelled…will let you know


  2. dunedorian says:

    I write poetry and music and I’ve never been a regular listener or reader of music or poetry. I’ve always thought this odd.


    1. Isn’t that funny? I think it just shows how creating things is something we are born with.


      1. dunedorian says:

        Well, yes, I’ve never had much problem creating stuff


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