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Shel Silverstein Translation Competition

The Friends of Chicago Foundation, established in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2010, the American Corner at the Sofia City Library and Tochitsa Publishing House announce for the second consecutive year Shel Silverstein Poem Translation Competition. This contest is not meant for only professional poetry translators. Therefore, anyone who has good command of English and Bulgarian and is excited to translate the suggested poem from English into Bulgarian could participate. However, only one entry per participant will be accepted. The translated poem has to be emailed to: by June 1, 2012.

Please provide in your email only the following information:

Your first and last names:

Your email address:

Your age:

Your school or university or profession:

The city you live in:

The translated poem (only in Bulgarian):


In the framework of the 2012 Chicago Days in Sofia, Bulgaria, an awarding ceremony will be held for the winners in the competition at the American Corner in Sofia at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 22, 2012.

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 books. He was an American writer, cartoonist, singer-songwriter, musician and composer.

2012 Chicago Days in Sofia, Bulgaria, co-organized by the Friends of Chicago Foundation, Sofia City Hall and the Embassy of the United States in Bulgaria, will be held from June 1 to July 4, 2012. Concerts, exhibitions and presentations on Chicago history, culture and architecture will bring Chicago closer to Sofia and its citizens. Held just before the 4th of July, Chicago Days, initiated by a Bulgarian non-governmental organization, 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.

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Please find below the suggested for translation poem:



There is a place where the sidewalk ends

And before the street begins,

And there the grass grows soft and white

And there the sun burns crimson and bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

To cool in the peppermint wind.


Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black

And the dark street winds and bends.

Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And watch where the chalk-white arrows go

To the place where the sidewalk ends.


Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children, they mark, and the children, they know

The place where the sidewalk ends.

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