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

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More Children's Poetry

Yesterday was Pumpkin's birthday.  I drove down to spend the day with her and BB.  They had just moved into a new house (which is quite charming) and were unpacking all day.  While this would not be most people's choice on how to spend their birthday, Pumpkin likes to be productive.  I baked her a cake and then, when everything was set right, we went out for a lovely tapas dinner.

While they were unpacking, Pumpkin showed me a book of children's verses given to her by her grandparents when she was two.  In it I found this poem and thought of the paddler nearest and dearest to my heart.

The Kayak

Over the briny wave I go,
In spite of the weather, in spite of the snow:
What cares the hardy Eskimo?
In my little skiff, with paddle and lance,
I glide where the foaming billows dance.

Round me the sea-birds slip and soar:
Like me, they love the ocean’s roar.
Sometimes a floating iceberg gleams
Above me with its melting streams;
Sometimes a rushing wave will fall
Down on my skill and cover it all.

But what care I for a wave’s attack?
With my paddle I right my little kayak.
And then its weight I speedily trim,
And over the water away I skim.


I also read her one of my all time favorite read out-loud poems:

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl?"
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood, a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon, 
They danced by the light of the moon.

  -Edward Lear

My mother chimed in on my last post with her favorite:

Daddy Fell into the Pond

Everyone grumbled.  The sky was gray.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced with sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed." Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft
And it sounds as if the old drake laughed.

Oh there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
Daddy fell into the pond!

  -Alfred Noyes

What I love about children's poetry is the sheer fun of saying them out loud.  All poetry should be read out loud but children's poetry screams for it.  It was a sad day when Angel no longer allowed me to read them to him.  Now I'm saving it all up for my grandchildren.

What are your favorite children's poems?


blackbird said...

The Sun's Travels

The sun is not a-bed, when I
At night upon my pillow lie;
Still round the earth his way he takes,
And morning after morning makes.

While here at home, in shining day,
We round the sunny garden play,
Each little Indian sleepy-head
Is being kissed and put to bed.

And when at eve I rise form tea,
Day dawns beyond the Atlantic Sea;
And all the children in the west
Are getting up and being dressed.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Maggie May said...

i totally agree about reading CP aloud! love your selections and happy birthday to your pumpkin :)

Julie said...

Happy Birthday to Pumpkin! The poems are awesome. I love "The Owl and the Pussycat." It's one of my all time favorites. I also love "Orphan Annie," especially the line about the goblins.

"The Kayak" is nice, too, and I can see why you'd like it:) You're so right about reading children's poems out loud.