46 posts categorized "Poetry" Feed

Poetry Friday: Days of Innocence 2

This week I am continuing a theme: e. e. cummings' poems of childhood.

Days of Innocence (2)

in Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles       far       and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far       and       wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan       whistles


I love "puddle-wondeful" and "mud-luscious", don't you? I know, I should have saved it until spring, but it went so well with last week's poem that I couldn't resist. Happy Friday!

Poetry Friday: Days of Innocence 1

I'm finally back for Poetry Friday, after a several week absence. Maybe this is a sign that my life is slowly getting back under control, after much travel followed by much Cybils excitement. Today I bring you a November-themed poem by e. e. cummings. It is short and sweet.

Days of Innocence (1)

who are you, little i

(five or six years old)
peering from some high

window;at the gold

of november sunset

(and feeling:that if day
has to become night

this is a beautiful way)


I'll bring you more from this set of poems next week. Happy November!

Poetry Friday: More Roald Dahl

Since I've just finished re-reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I'm compelled to bring you an excerpt for this week's poetry Friday entry. In Chapter 27 (Mike Teavee is Sent by Television), the Oompa-Loompas sound a cautionary note regarding kids watching too much television. They suggest instead, this:

"So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks—
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did."

For other Poetry Friday entries, I refer you to Kelly or Liz. I'm still (always and forever, it seems) traveling. Have a great weekend!

Poetry Friday: Shel Silverstein

This week I bring you a poem from Shel Silverstein's Falling Up, a book that my grandmother enjoyed late in her life, and that one one of my nieces likes, too.

"No Grown-Ups

No grown-ups allowed.
We're playin' a game,
And we don't need
"Be carefuls" or "don'ts."
No grown-ups allowed.
We're formin' a club,
And the secret oath
Must not be shown.
No grown-ups allowed.
We're goin' out for pizza——
No, no one but me and my crowd.
So just stay away.
Oh, now it's time to pay?
Grown-ups allowed."

I won't be able to do any sort of round-up this weekend, because I'll have guests in town, and we're going wine-tasting. But I refer you to Liz and Kelly. Have a great weekend!

Poetry Friday: Roald Dahl

Since Roald Dahl's birthday was this past week, I thought that it would be most fitting to go with one of his poems for Poetry Friday. Did you know that Roald Dahl was a poet? This shouldn't surprise anyone, given how much he loved to play with words. There are tons of poems in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator alone. Here is the beginning of one from Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Chapter 13):

"If you are old and have the shakes,
If all your bones are full of aches,
If you can hardly walk at all,
If living drives you up the wall,
If you're a grump and full of spite,
If you're a human parasite,
Then what you need is Wonka-Vite!"

The site RoaldDahlFans.com has the text of many of Roald Dahl's poems, including the rest of the above poem. Happy reading! I'm traveling today, so won't be posting any links to other Poetry Friday entries. Try Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy or Kelly at Big A little a.

Poetry Friday: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Continuing my theme of poems from nursery rhymes, I bring you the classic Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, by Eugene Field (1850-1895). This poem was originally called Dutch Lullaby. You can find it in numerous places on the internet, including here, here, and here.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
   Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
   Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
   The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
   That live in this beautiful sea;
   Nets of silver and gold have we!"
                     Said Wynken,
                     And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
   As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
   Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
   That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
   Never afeard are we";
   So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
   To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
   Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
   As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
   Of sailing that beautiful sea---
   But I shall name you the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
   And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
   Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
   Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
   As you rock in the misty sea,
   Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

Rick Yanco maintains tons of other poems by Eugene Field on his website, too, including one of my favorites, The Duel (the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat).

UPDATE: You can see a round-up of other Poetry Friday entries from this week at A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy.

Poetry Friday: Simple Simon

Continuing last week's theme of English nursery rhymes included in Clifton Fadiman's The World Treasury of Children's Literature, I bring you the classic: Simple Simon. Everyone knows the beginning, of course, but are you familiar with the later verses?

Simple Simon met a pieman,
  Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
  Let me taste your ware.

Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
  Show me first your penny;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
  Indeed I have not any.

Simple Simon went a-fishing,
  For to catch a whale;
All the water he had got
  Was in his mother's pail.

Simple Simon went to look
  If plums grew on a thistle;
He pricked his fingers very much,
  Which made poor Simon whistle.

He went for water in a sieve
  But soon it all fell through;
And now poor Simple Simon
  Bids you all adieu.

UPDATE: If you are looking for a round-up of other Poetry Friday entries for this week, I refer you to Kelly at Big A little a, who is completely on top of it.

Poetry Friday: English Nursery Rhymes

In a quest to find poems for this week, I turned once again to my trusty The World Treasury of Children's Literature, by Clifton Fadiman (I have the single-volume paperback edition put out by QPBC in 1995). I was charmed by several of the English nursery rhymes listed, and have included two of them below.

Betty Botter bought some butter,
But, she said, the butter's bitter;
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter,
But a bit of better butter
Will make my batter better.
So she bought a bit of butter
Better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter
And the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter bought a bit
       of better butter.


There was a crooked man,
  And he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence
  Against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat,
  Which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together
  In a little crooked house.


Aren't those fun? In double-checking, I found that Kelly included the Crooked Man poem on her site back in June. However, since I had already typed it up, I decided to share it with you again. Have a great weekend!

UPDATE: Here are links to some other Poetry Friday entries for the day. If I missed you, please let me know.

Poetry Friday: Every Time I Climb a Tree

In need of a poem this week, I consulted my trusty The World Treasury of Children's Literature, compiled by Clifton Fadiman. And I discovered a new (to me) poet of children's verse: David McCord (1897 to 1997). I believe that his work is still under copyright, but here is an excerpt from a particularly charming one:

Every Time I Climb a Tree

Every time I climb a tree
Every time I climb a tree
Every time I climb a tree
I scrape a leg
Or skin a knee
And every time I climb a tree
I find some ants
Or dodge a bee
And get the ants
All over me

-- David McCord

Poetry Friday: Green Eggs and Ham

This week's entry comes courtesy of Dr. Seuss, and of the fascinating Wikipedia entry about the book Green Eggs and Ham. Did you know that in the U.S., green eggs used to be a term for scrambled eggs made with herbs? So Wikipedia says, anyway. Here is an excerpt from the book, taken from their post:

"I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I do not like them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am."

As a relatively picky eater, I always appreciated this book. I'm traveling for a couple of days, but I'll try to come back with some links later in the weekend. Happy Friday!

UPDATE: Here are some links to Poetry Friday entries that I ran across today (Sunday). You can find others listed at A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy.

Poetry Friday: Knights and Ladies

This week, for your reading pleasure, a poem from When We Were Very Young, by A. A. Milne.

Knights and Ladies
There is in my old picture-book
A page at which I like to look,
Where knights and squires come riding down
The cobbles of some steep old town,
And ladies from beneath the eaves
Flutter their bravest handkerchiefs,
Or, smiling proudly, toss down gages....
But that was in the Middle Ages.
It wouldn't happen now; but still,
Whenever I look up the hill
Where, dark against the green and blue,
The firs come marching, two by two,
I wonder if perhaps I might
See suddenly a shining knight
Winding his way from blue to green --
Exactly as it would have been
Those many, many years ago....

Perhaps I might. You never know.


Doesn't that last line capture the very essence of children's literature? You never know what might happen. I don't think that I'll be able to manage links to other Poetry Friday entries this week, due to various factors. I refer you instead of Liz B. at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy. Have a great weekend!

Poetry Friday: The Story of the Treasure Seekers

Today's poetry Friday entry comes courtesy of "a lady in spectacles in the corner" of a train in Chapter 4 of Edith Nesbit's The Story of the Treasure Seekers. This poem was written for a boy, and seemed fitting in light of my current focus on the list of cool boys of children's literature.

"Oh when I wake up in my bed
And see the sun all fat and red,
I'm glad to have another day
For all my different kinds of play.

There are so many things to do --
The things that make a man of you,
If grown-ups did not get so vexed
And wonder what you will do next.

I often wonder whether they
Ever made up our kinds of play --
If they were always good as gold
And only did what they were told.

They like you best to play with tops
And toys in boxes, bought in shops;
They do not even know the names
Of really interesting games.

They will not let you play with fire
Or trip your sister up with wire,
They grudge the tea-tray for a drum,
Or booby-traps when callers come.

They don't like fishing, and it's true
You sometimes soak a suit or two:
They look on fireworks, though they're dry,
With quite a disapproving eye.

They do not understand the way
To get the most out of your day:
They do not know how hunger feels
Nor what you need between your meals.

And when you're sent to bed at night
They're happy, but they're not polite,
For through the door you hear them say:
'He's done his mischief for the day!'"

UPDATE: Here are some other Poetry Friday entries for this week. There are a bunch of new to me entrants this time, several of whom I found through A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy (thanks, Liz!).

That's all for now! Let me know if I missed you, and have a great weekend.