Thursday, 8 October 2015

National Poetry Day!

It's National Poetry Day! I thought I'd break my extended silence and talk about a few of my favourite children's poems. We have a small selection of children's poetry books at home and one the ones I like the best is the 100 Best poems for Children compiled by Roger Mcgough. It's jammed full of fabulous poems and I love dipping in and out of it.
Another firm favourite is Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg, fantastic for school age children and full of fun. I must share it with my six year old!
A new poetry book out very recently and getting lots of plaudits comes from two venerated and wonderful authors Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen. A Great Big Cuddle is a lovely book which works brilliantly with young and old. 

Here is a poem I particularly like for young babies, I think it's the chanting quality, maybe it soothes!

Star light, star bright,
First Star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish, I wish tonight.
(Traditional Nursery Rhyme)

And this is from Lewis Carroll, I also love Jabberwocky but I really like the conversational nature of this and the way the roles are reversed. And it's from one of my favourite ever books, Alice in Wonderland.

You are old, Father William by Lewis Carroll (from Alice in Wonderland)

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "As I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box—
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "And your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak—
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

So there we have it, a celebration of children's poetry. It's not that extensive, given that it's drawn from my narrow collection. Happy Poetry Day!

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