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Shel Silverstein Poems Translation Competition

The American Corner at the Sofia City Library and the Friends of Chicago Foundation announce Children Poetry Translation Competition for students from schools and universities. Participants could translate from English into Bulgarian one or more of the suggested poems from “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein . 

The translated poems should be emailed as an attached word file to: by June 10, 2011. Along with the translated poems, each participant must submit his/her name, age, school or university, and email address.

Sheldon Alan Silverstein, better known as Shel Silverstein, was born in Chicago. His first collection of poems, Where the Sidewalk Ends, was published in 1974 and became an instant classic. Translated into 20 languages, his books have sold over 20 million copies. But Shel Silverstein was known not only as an author of children’s boon. He was an American writer, cartoonist, singer-songwriter, musician and composer.

In the framework of the 2011 Chicago Festival, an awarding ceremony will be held for the winners in the competition at the American Corner on June 23, 2011.

The First Chicago Fest, co-organized by the Friends of Chicago Foundation, Sofia City Hall and the Embassy of the United States, will be held in Sofia from Monday, June 20, 2011 to Sunday, June 26, 2011. Concerts, exhibitions, lectures about Chicago culture and architecture, as well as a Happening in the Borissov Park under the motto “I Love Chicago” are the events that will bring Chicago closer to Sofia and its citizens. Held just before the 4th of July, this Festival, initiated by a Bulgarian non-governmental organization, will use people-to-people diplomacy to promote Bulgarian-American friendship and cooperation and to provide public support for establishing a sister cities relationship between Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and Chicago.

Suggested poems for translation:


I went to find the pot of gold

That’s waiting where the rainbow ends.

I search and search and search and search

And search and search, and then –

There it was, deep in the grass,

Under an old and twisty bough.

It’s mine, it’s mine, it’s mine at last…

What do I search for now?


How do we tell if a window is open?

Just throw a stone at it.

Does it make a noise?

It doesn’t?

Well, it was open.

Now let’s try another…


It wasn’t!


Have you been to The Land of Happy,

Where everyone’s happy all day,

Where they joke and they sing

Of the happiest things,

And everything’s jolly and gay?

There’s no one unhappy in Happy,

There’s laughter and smiles galore.

I have been to The Land of Happy –

What a bore!

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