Once upon a time there were two famous poets. The first lived from 1584-1616. The second lived from 1930-1999. The first poet’s name was William Shakespeare. The second poet’s name was Sheldon Silverstein. Both were widely known throughout the poetry’s history. Those poets were very different though. That included who they were, what they were mainly known for, personal life, family, career, written works, and their demise. Generally speaking, their basic lifestyle was very dissimilar.
Who were they? Well William Shakespeare (also known as Shakespeare, or Will Shakespeare) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom, and was educated at the King’s new school. He is most known for his plays, and lesser known for his poems. His nicknames were:
"Bard of Avon"
"Swan of Avon"
Sheldon Silverstein (also known as Shel Silverstein) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and educated at Roosevelt University. He is most known for his children’s books, and lesser known for his songs. He sometimes signed his material as Uncle Shelby.
Now what happened while they were not working? In other words their personal life. Well Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway (not the actress) and had 3 children. Their first-born’s name was Susanna. Then came along twins Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet died when he was 11, because of the black plague.
Why was the black plague “oh so dangerous”? Well even before the “death ships” pulled into port at Messina, many Europeans had heard rumors about a “Great Pestilence” that was carving a deadly path across the trade routes of the Near and Far East. (Early in the 1340s, the disease had struck China, India, Persia, Syria and Egypt.) However, they were scarcely equipped for the horrible reality of the Black Death. “In men and women alike,” the Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio started his writing and wrote about all of the symptoms of the black death such as:
Stomach issues (vomiting/diarrhea)
Terrible aches and pains
Many scholars think that the nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosy” was written about the symptoms of the Black Death. Poor Hamnet.
Silverstein once told a reporter that growing up he wanted to be popular with girls and be a baseball player. The outcome was not in his favor. Girls did not like him. Baseball “did not like him”. When Silverstein was older he had to make a choice; girls, or work? In the end he chose work, because it was more important to him.
Just like people today the two poets had relatives. Yes that even includes brothers, and sisters. (Also known as the reason why you constantly need aspirin.) The first set of relatives to be shown is the Shakespeare family.
Silverstein’s mom (Helen) and dad (Nathan) had two children.
“Money makes the world go round!”, as some people say. Well how did those poets earn that
money? Through jobs. Was there any highlights in their careers? Well let’s find out. Shakespeare (ages ago) in 1597 published 15 out of 37 plays. He purchased the 2nd largest house as well. (Not as many ages ago) In 1605 Shakespeare bought an leases near an estate for $640.12 which ended up making him $87.29. Silverstein published many books from 1963-2008.
The two poets published many things. Some things Shakespeare published included 154 sonnets, romeo and juliet, and 36 other plays. Some things Silverstein published included Falling up, Lafacadio the lion who shot back, and A boy named sue.
Shakespeare died May 3, 1616. Many people thought the death date, and Shakespeare himself was fictitious. Silverstein died May 10 1999. R.i.p. William and Sheldon