Do you know the way to the place where the sidewalk ends?

I’m guest hosting over at the dVerse Poetry Pub today. I want my fellow poets to look into the idea of “covering” another poet’s poetry, in much the same way that a musician might cover a melody by another musician. Of course, there are going to be differences, as I can’t just copy the words of another poet and call it a cover. I must somehow make that poem, “my own”. Is it even possible for one poet to “cover” the work of another? I’m not really sure, but I want to give it a go, and I want to invite anyone else to give it a try too! In the end, our readers will have to be the judges of whether or not we were succesful :-).  Prompt goes live at 3pm central time (that’s 2pm if you live in Saskatchewan!)

Here, then, is my attempt at covering Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  The first stanza is entirely Shel’s words.  It is in the second and third stanzas that I have “made this my own”.  I have also added an extra 2 lines of length to the end


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

Oh how I wish to leave where the smoke blows black
but this street merely winds and bends,
I’m stuck where the asphalt flowers grow
and I walk with a walk that is frantic, yet slow
I look for where the chalk-white arrows go
but can’t find where the sidewalk ends.

Yes, I wish that my walk were both measured and slow
and I could see where those chalk-arrows go
but I’ve lost my childhood, and so I don’t know
how to get where the sidewalk ends

oh I need a child to teach me again
to find the place where the sidewalk ends


NaBloPoMo Day 29


18 thoughts on “Do you know the way to the place where the sidewalk ends?

  1. I love your response, following the cadence and words of the original artist ~ Yes, both measured and slow is the way to go ~

    The ending 2 lines summed it all nicely ~ Thanks for hosting Bryan ~

  2. Thank you for a challenging prompt, Bryan! I enjoyed you version of the Shel Silvertein poem very much. I agree with Grace that you have followed the cadence and words. How true – we all : ‘…need a child to teach me again / to find the place where the sidewalk ends’!

  3. First oF aLL..
    for a most
    as i tEnd
    to coveR iT all..
    as i go on different
    sIDewalks of life.. often
    spirAling out of control as
    control is what ya do when ya
    work for the Government for over
    25 years.. anyWay.. or releGated to
    sidewalks from barefoot child meadows..
    IS A place
    i no longer
    play as leaves
    of grass coMe
    toGeTheR As Green..
    over red and blue..
    piLLs oF ‘ForE.. par..;)

  4. Very nicely paired, Bryan — How does one stay faithful to the original without finding a way to walk that sidewalk as an adult? That’s the whole issue of influence and orginality: to respect where the dance came from but add one’s own cadence to it. Thanks for the challenge.

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