God says to me with a kind of smile,
“Hey how would you like to be God awhile
And steer the world?”
“Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?”
“Gimme back that wheel,” says God.
“I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Shel Silverstein's poem God’s Wheel


  1. James says:

    i think this poem is about how humanity as a whole is not ready for power when we finaly get power our world changes on a moments notice

  2. Sophia says:

    When I read this poem it reminds me that G-D runs the world, God does everything for a reason we may not see the reason but its their.

  3. Sherry G says:

    I think what this poem is trying to express is that, you know how sometimes we question what God does? For example we say something like “If this is God’s world why is he letting this and that happen?” or “Why doesn’t God prevent certain things or events happen?” In my opinion none of us on this earth can even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to take care of people who don’t want ta be taken care of.

  4. DS Martin says:

    Poetry is always somewhat subjective, even when the author has intended meaning when writing. So, to state simply, Silverstein’s poem “is an insult to God”; to Mike. However, it is not an insult to God; to me.
    Futhermore, the struggle that occurs between Silverstein’s ‘God and I’, in this poem, is not too far removed from Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel of the Lord, of Genesis 32:24-30.
    God blessed Jacob because Jacob struggled with him.
    God expects us to struggle with him. God blesses us, only so long as we stay in the struggle, just like Jacob.

  5. shannon says:

    you people don’t take it so serious because you don’t have jesus christ in your heart or in your life. This poem to me is about him watching over us and not letting someone else take over and when all they are is worried about other things. Think with your hearts not your minds. You would get it alot faster.

  6. shannon says:

    This poem really touches my heart because without jesus in our lives we are lost. Just think he died for you! I can’t wait until the day he comes for us. So i can be in heaven with him.I love him so much for he is by my side everyday. For i would hate to know were i
    would be without him. Jesus Christ is the answer.

  7. Ana says:

    Well…. think that the poem ment that God watches and keeps us all the time and he doesn’t take a break. He is caring for us every second, minute, and hour of our day. HE LOVES US SOOOO MUCH!!!!! And the child didn’t realize that Our Father is watching over us every second to make sure that we are good and safe. He thought that it was easier because God does do such a good job that he makes it look easy. Yaweh is the best!!!!

  8. julia says:

    God has definatly give silverstein a wonderful talent and ability to write. This peom “God’s Wheel” just reminds me of how awsome, and mighty, majestic He is. Without Jesus Christ, I would not be here, I couldn’t make it with out Him. It makes me so thankful and greatful, that my Lord, God, Jesus, is incontrol of everything, because I can count on Him, I know he will always be there for me, and He is perfect and unchanging. I Praise My Father, Jesus, for loving me enough to come to earth as man and die for my sins, and then Rise again after 3 days, so that i can live with Him forever, In Heaven!

  9. Kristy says:

    This poem is so simple with such a simple message. It reminds me of Bruce Almighty….we think we would do so many wonderful things if we were in control and yet we really just mess it all up. I think it also says if you want to be in control why ask so many questions…you are obviously not ready to be in charge.

  10. alicia says:

    very funny

  11. sam says:

    i think it was great and thoughtfull

  12. Kaelie says:

    I loved this poem I didn’t really get it but it sounded good, and I mean the weird part about it is that I’m not even religous?!

  13. Benny Key says:

    The poem taught me that even some people could take a vacation but you have to leave the resposibilities in the right hands or the jab will not be done right.

  14. Summer says:

    I don’t think you should tell people they look funny.
    And i do like this poem it is very cute and kind.

  15. yo mom says:

    how is this poem a insult 2 god man???


  16. his momma go 2 colege says:

    mao. yo face make me feel funny!!

  17. Candice says:

    I think that it’s trying to tell people that we are not in contoll but God is. So don’t put to many things up agenest yourself.It made me fell good because i’m not god and it would be really hard.

  18. Shyan says:

    It made me feel happy Because the people who want to take over the world god say you can’t. So no one will get hert.

  19. Ludovic says:

    Katie said everything. But it also means that power (economical, political…) cant get mixed with the individualist point of view because other people are envolved and deserve respect for their own lives.
    Doesn’t God love everybody? So humans to have His powers need do it too. Thats the message.

  20. katie says:

    You guys are all not taking it literally enough (or so my opinion is) i think perhaps he is simply saying that even when people (of today) are offered a wonderful and extraordinary job all we think of is when we can take time off, how much we will get payed, and not even stopping to consider anything but the statistics of the job. as far as im concerned u all have it backwards, i think its more ment to be insulting US not god.

  21. Mao says:

    That poem was very fun because you say you are going to try it but you are asking many question and it made me feel funny!!

  22. katie says:

    everybody knows that either God never takes lunch breaks, or he takes them whenever he wants.

  23. Alex Cater says:

    i thiink that this poem is great! It shows us that no matter how much we want to control ourselves or the world, that we can’t do it without God’s help! I loved it! Thank you so much Mr. Silverstein! God Bless you!

  24. Ajeet says:

    I agree with Rae, i don’t think this poem has anything to do with insulting God in any way.

  25. Serenity says:

    I think that everyone is reading into this way too much. It’s just meant to be silly.

  26. Rae says:

    How could this poem possibly be an insult to GOD?

  27. Ivy says:

    Well, I think this is just a funny poem. No hidden meanings or anything.

  28. mike says:

    i think this poem is a insult to GOD!!!!

  29. ingeborg says:

    I don’t think that every poem has to have a surtain meaning, sometimes you just write what’s on your mind, and other people can find a special meaning in it..
    nice poem, by the way 🙂

  30. B-nov says:

    what this poem means to me is when taking on an important task you have to do it for yourself and not for the benifits.When you can do that you will then be ready to do great things

  31. woodye says:

    This poem shows that even though we try to control our world/selves ,we expect to be able to be recompensed and relieved if we become weary.God is in full control.

  32. MizzChievyus says:

    Playing the roll of God is not a paying or brake taking job, there are no physical rewards only spiritual and some people seem to take such selfless acts forgranted, I believe thats why God asked for his wheel back and let the kid know he wasn’t ready. I think this poem was disigned to open the world to the idea of giving and not expecting to recieve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Shel Silverstein better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.