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Themes

There's a wild new version of the real world being constructed in "Where the Sidewalk Ends," far far away from any land we've walked to on a sidewalk or even a dirt path through the woods. This reality is an escape from the city that you can make without actually physically leaving the sidewalk. It takes us deep into the land of childhood fantasies, and just because we must use our imaginations to travel to where the sidewalk ends, doesn't make it any less real. Adults and children alike can benefit from a stroll into the alternate reality created in this poem.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. If it were up to you, what would the place where the sidewalk ends be like?
  2. What do you think the place where the sidewalk ends represents?
  3. What is the significance of the details about the place where the sidewalk ends, as given in the first stanza?            
  4. How do the rhythm and rhyme schemes affect the way readers think about the different settings in this poem? Do they change when the poem talks about where the sidewalk ends versus the place from which the speaker is traveling?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The place where the sidewalk ends is a metaphor for the imagination.

This poem views the imagination as a powerful tool to create other realities.

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