If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Children's Poetry

When my sisters and I were young we had a favorite book of poems: Piping Down the Valleys Wild (edited by Nancy Larrick). I was lucky enough to come across this book at a garage sale several years ago. Some of my favorites include:

Get Up and Bar the Door (Anonymous)
The Owl and the Pussycat (Edward Lear)
Cats (Eleanor Farjeon)
Every Time I Climb a Tree (David McCord)
My Shadow (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Daddy Fell Into the Pond (Alfred Noyes)
Father William (Lewis Carroll)

It was that collection and A.A. Milne that I believe fostered my love of poetry. To this day I make sure I always have a copy of When We Were Very Young in the house. Favorites from that include:

Buckingham Palace
The Four Friends
Rice Pudding
The King's Breakfast
Halfway Down

Poetry is meant to be read outloud. I read these and many others to Boy in his youngest years but, alas, he finally asked me to stop. Since then I've read them to the cats.

Now I know everyone loves Shel Silverstein, and I do too, but the other children's poet I adore is Jack Prelutsky. I am especially fond of his book The Dragons are Singing Tonight.

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