“Smart” by Shel Silverstein

Came across this money poem and thought you’d enjoy it :)


My dad gave me one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes — I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head–
Too proud of me to speak!

– Shel Silverstein


PS: Want another? Here’s a poem on wealth.

[Photo by David Hepworth]

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  1. David Hunter July 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    That’s the GREATEST money poem ever!

    Happy Independence Day!

    1. J. Money July 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Glad you liked :) Gave me a good laugh!

  2. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies July 4, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    I loved Shel Silverstein’s books when I was a kid. Such great fun poems and the drawings are amazing, too!

    1. J. Money July 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      I know right? I totally need to pick up some of his books for my little boy once he’s ready for them. Will be like going back in time :)

  3. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen July 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Love Shel Silverstein! Where the Sidewalk Ends is probably still one of the best books to own. Always funny and silly.

  4. Angella July 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    I love Shel Silverstein writings! Have a few books I read to my son at night. Haven’t read this particular poem before though. Loved it, too funny! We’re currently working on the concept of money with the kid, he’s still convinced 5 pennies are better than a quarter, but at least he knows a dollar bill trumps the coins haha.

    1. J. Money July 5, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Haha… baby steps :)

  5. Shafi July 5, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Had a mighty hard time but I am on my way – Burt in Elmer Gantry

    Off to Debt-free land
    I’m on my way
    Glory, hallelujah
    I’m on my way

    All along the way
    Debt lies a-waitin’
    Every night and day
    Debt lies a-waitin’
    Hear me shout and say
    Get behind me, Debt
    I’m on my way
    Glory, hallelujah
    I’m on my way

    Fight the debt-devil and pray
    Take another step higher
    Fight the debt-devil and pray
    Lord, I want to climb higher
    Chase the debt-devil away
    Lord, I’m caught in its fire
    I’m on my way
    Glory, hallelujah
    I’m on my way

    1. J. Money July 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Nice! Haven’t heard that one before. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans July 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Shel Silverstein was one of my favorite poets growing up! Reading this brought me back to my childhood :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. J. Money July 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Glad you enjoyed :)

  8. J.D. July 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I read that whole book (Where The Sidewalk Ends) to my daughter on a regular basis. I love it! The drawings are cool and scary at the same time, too. It’s more than just the amazing poems, lol.

    1. J. Money July 12, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      I know, right? def freaky at times!