Shel Silverstein

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999 / Chicago/ Illinois)

The Giving Tree - Poem by Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree....
and she loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come
and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns
and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired,
he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree....
very much.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree
and the tree said, 'Come, Boy, come and
climb up my trunk and swing from my
branches and eat apples and play in my
shade and be happy.'
'I am too big to climb and play' said
the boy.
'I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money?'
'I'm sorry,' said the tree, 'but I
have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in
the city. Then you will have money and
you will be happy.'
And so the boy climbed up the
tree and gathered her apples
and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time....
and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back
and the tree shook with joy
and she said, 'Come, Boy, climb up my trunk
and swing from my branches and be happy.'
'I am too busy to climb trees,' said the boy.
'I want a house to keep me warm,' he said.
'I want a wife and I want children,
and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house ?'
' I have no house,' said the tree.
'The forest is my house,
but you may cut off
my branches and build a
house. Then you will be happy.'

And so the boy cut off her branches
and carried them away
to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time.
And when he came back,
the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
'Come, Boy,' she whispered,
'come and play.'
'I am too old and sad to play,'
said the boy.
'I want a boat that will
take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?'
'Cut down my trunk
and make a boat,' said the tree.
'Then you can sail away...
and be happy.'
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy
... but not really.

And after a long time
the boy came back again.
'I am sorry, Boy,'
said the tree,' but I have nothing
left to give you -
My apples are gone.'
'My teeth are too weak
for apples,' said the boy.
'My branches are gone,'
said the tree. ' You
cannot swing on them - '
'I am too old to swing
on branches,' said the boy.
'My trunk is gone, ' said the tree.
'You cannot climb - '
'I am too tired to climb' said the boy.
'I am sorry,' sighed the tree.
'I wish that I could give you something....
but I have nothing left.
I am just an old stump.
I am sorry....'
'I don't need very much now,' said the boy.
'just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired.'
'Well,' said the tree, straightening
herself up as much as she could,
'well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting
Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.'
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.


Comments about The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

  • (11/23/2018 4:47:00 AM)


    I like it too. Its realy nice (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/23/2018 2:54:00 AM)


    I love this poem i am gonna learn this poem gor my elecution (Report) Reply

    (11/23/2018 4:45:00 AM)

    Ikr! I luv it too!

  • (10/9/2018 2:48:00 AM)


    The usefulness of a tree is brought out in this poignant poem. Loved reading it again and again. (Report) Reply

  • (10/2/2018 11:58:00 AM)


    succ thicc boi or else u will succ thicc dicc (Report) Reply

    (11/29/2018 10:48:00 AM)

    Ew. That's groosss

  • (10/1/2018 5:29:00 PM)


    i love this book so much it is one of my faveorite book of shel silverstein (Report) Reply

  • (9/20/2018 2:14:00 PM)


    that was so sad and the little boy was asking for all of her stuff...thats just sad but u die for what u love the tree treated him like a mother did (Report) Reply

  • (9/20/2018 2:14:00 PM)


    What a sad tree! ! Wow so sad (Report) Reply

  • (9/20/2018 2:10:00 PM)


    So good i swear on god ill read this like 100 times (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2018 8:10:00 PM)


    SO THE TREE IS HAAPY! ! ! (Report) Reply

    (9/20/2018 2:10:00 PM)

    You know you dont like it just say it

  • (9/11/2018 12:55:00 AM)


    I remember when my mom first read this to me when I was about 5 years old, I cried (Report) Reply

    (9/20/2018 2:13:00 PM)

    I like the book salt in his shoes

  • (8/28/2018 1:58:00 PM)


    No comments please! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • (8/28/2018 11:45:00 AM)


    amazing :))))))))))))))))))))))))) (Report) Reply

  • (8/28/2018 11:42:00 AM)


    It is good i feel so sad for nature (Report) Reply

    (10/9/2018 9:15:00 AM)

    The boy was super stingy and was not grateful for what he had

  • (5/28/2018 5:40:00 PM)


    I love this poem. My translation. Oy, my son, you are my life. You should never leave me. I have sacrificed for you. To see it as the ultimate mother, God Forbid. (Report) Reply

  • Britte Ninad (5/23/2018 3:43:00 AM)


    wonderful narrative and life like poem

    yeah nature is true friend of human kind
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/21/2018 9:59:00 PM)


    It wasn't until I had children that I realised this poem is about the fleetingness of childhood and the childlike love and connection that a young child has to it's parents (particularly mother) . For me this poem is a reminder to cherish those moments, so brief but precious, when you are there whole world, because soon the child must enter the world and the parent must stand back and just support. (Report) Reply

  • (5/19/2018 5:35:00 AM)


    this is a wonderful poem! which explains the benevolence of a kind tree and the human's greed. the tree in this tried as hard as she could to make the boy happy by undergoing severe trauma and helped him through out her life. (Report) Reply

  • (4/27/2018 4:03:00 PM)


    OK, Sounds to me like the young man took everything he could from the tree.So when he came back there was nothing left to take.All he could is take a rest. (Report) Reply

  • (4/23/2018 12:17:00 PM)


    its very VERY nice.I think it should be number 1 on the best poem (Report) Reply

  • (4/23/2018 12:16:00 PM)


    hubbbbb yaaaasss spleace (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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