A couple of weeks ago, searching around the Hair, I discovered a fiftieth-anniversary edition of Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.” It had the fern-green cover familiar from childhood, the exact same oversized measurements, the same appealing sketch on its front– a squiggly illustration of a high tree, its top spilling off the page, and a little kid, looking up at it. However, rather than experiencing an enjoyable rush of fond memories, I was dismayed. A weird thing happens when we encounter a book we utilized to like and unexpectedly discover it charmless; the sensation is one of puzzled dissociation. Was it truly me who once cherished this book?
The start of the story is harmless enough: a kid climbs a tree, swings from her branches, and devours her apples (I’d never ever noticed that the tree was a “she”). “And the tree was happy,” goes the refrain. However then time passes, and the kid ignores her. One day, the boy, now a boy, returns, requesting cash. Not having any to provide him, the tree is “pleased” to give him her apples to offer. She is likewise “pleased” to give him her branches, and later on her trunk, up until there is nothing left of her but an old stump, which the old male, or kid, continues to sit on.
The Giving Tree By Shel Silverstein PDFThe Giving Tree By Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree Poem Text PDFThe Giving Tree Poem Text
” Once there was a tree … and she loved a little kid.”
So starts a story of unforgettable perception, wonderfully written and highlighted by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would concern the tree to consume her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk … and the tree enjoyed. However as the young boy got older he started to desire more from the tree, and the tree gave and offered and gave.
This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has actually produced a moving parable for readers of all ages that provides an impacting analysis of the gift of giving and a serene approval of another’s capability to like in return.