Tag Archives: Poetry

Poetry Friday – Poems to Learn by Heart

This collection by Caroline Kennedy, illustrated by Jon J Muth comes with a very powerful introduction. In it, Ms. Kennedy states:

“Poets distill life’s lessons into the fewest possible words. But those tiny packages of thought contain worlds of images and experiences and feelings. If our circumstances change and things seem to be falling apart, we can recall a poem that reassures us. If we find ourselves in unfamiliar or frightening surroundings, a poem can remind us that others have journeyed far and returned safely home. If we learn poems by heart, we will always have their wisdom to draw on, and we gain understanding that no one can take away.”

I chose a poem I memorized as a child for this week’s selection:

I’d Love to Be a Fairy’s Child (by Robert Graves)

Children born of fairy stock

Never need for shirt or frock,

Never want for food or fire,

Always get their heart’s desire:

Jingle pockets full of gold,

Marry when they’re seven years old.

Every fairy child may keep

Two strong ponies and ten sheep;

All have houses, each his own,

Built of brick or granite stone;

They live on cherries, they run wild —

I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.


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For this week I choose another collection from the Poetry for Young People series. Maya Angelou was edited by Edwin Graves Wilson, PhD. and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue.

Just like last week’s Langston Hughes selection, my favorite parts of this book center more around all the additional information they provide. There is a short biography about Maya Angelou’s life, background is given on each poem, and explanation of any vocabulary or imagery that may not be obvious to children is included. Each poem includes pictures that add to the context of the poem and give hints as to the tone or emotions that Maya Angelou was trying to express.

I selected a poem that has always been a personal favorite of mine:

Little Girl Speakings

Ain’t nobody better’n my Daddy,

you keep yo’ quauter,

I ain’t yo’ daughter.

Ain’t nobody better’n my Daddy.

Ain’t nothing prettier’n my dollie,

heard what I said

don’t pat her head,

Ain’t nothing prettier’n my dollie.

No lady cookinger than my Mommy,

smell that pie,

see I don’t lie,

No lady cookinger than my Mommy.



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Listen To The Mustn’ts – Poetry Friday

To finish off the month of May, I’ve decided to pick another Shel Silverstein poem, but this time from Where the Sidewalk Ends. I love this poem. I remember memorizing it in third grade for a coffee-house I participated in. This whole collection of poems is my favorite from Silverstein. There are so many creative and inspiring moments for kids. It’s on my top recommendations for parents who come in looking for poetry for those elementary age cuties. Here is my favorite entry:

Listen to the Mustn’ts

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,

Listen to the DON’TS

Listen to the SHOULDN’TS


Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me —

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be.

Where the Sidewalk Ends


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Please Bury Me In The Library – Poetry Friday

I’ve stolen another poem from Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis. I’ve been reading and re-reading this book to get inspiration for the Summer Reading Program (it’s almost here! Dun, dun, dun!). Here is the title poem:

Please Bury Me in the Library

Please bury me in the library

In the clean, well-lighted stacks.

Of Novels, History, Poetry,

Right next to the Paperbacks.

Where the Kids’ Books dance

With True Romance

And the Dictionary dozes.

Please bury me in the library

With a dozen long-stemmed proses.

Way back by a rack of Magazines,

I won’t be sad too often,

If they bury me in the library

With Bookworms in my coffin.

Please Bury Me In The Library


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Poem Friday – Shel Silverstein

You can’t have kids poetry without Shel Silverstein, he is the master. For this week’s entry into Poetry Friday I’ve selected a poem from A Light in the Attic. I’ve noticed about Silverstein’s poems, as I’ve re-read them as an adult, is that they don’t mean the same thing to me now as they did 10-15 years ago. When I was little this particular poem was just fun and silly. I like to figure out where all the characters he mentioned came from. Now that I’m older it means so much more. It’s about imagination, possibilities, and that even the littlest thing can mean so very, very much!

Picture Puzzle Piece

One picture puzzle piece

Lyin’ on the sidewalk,

One picture puzzle piece

Soakin’ in the rain.

It might be a button of blue

On the coat of the woman

Who lived in a shoe.

It might be a magical bean,

Or a fold in the red

Velvet robe of a queen.

It might be the one little bite

Of the apple her stepmother

Gave to Snow White.

It might be the veil of a bride

Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.

It might be a small tuft of hair

On the big bouncy belly

Of Bobo the Bear.

it might be a bit of the cloak

Of the Witch of the West

As she melted to smoke.

It might be a shadowy trace

Of a tear that runs down an angel’s face.

Nothing has more possibilities

Then one old wet picture puzzle piece.


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Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies – Poetry Friday

Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, have collected poems, songs, and lullabies that are “just a few of their favorite things.” This collection is filled with beautiful paintings by James McMullan. We, also, have the audiobook available of this collection if you would prefer to hear some of the songs and poems read aloud. It’s a great book that children and parents will both enjoy. Many poets, songwriters, and artists are represented in its pages. I selected lyrics by Stephen Sondheim to give you a feel for this collection. It’s a song I sing to my own daughter, and is from one of my favorite musicals.

Not While I’m Around

Nothing’s gonna harm you,

not while I’m around.

Nothing’s gonna harm you, no sir,

not while I’m around.

Demons are prowling

ev’rywhere nowadays.

I’ll send them howling,

I don’t care, I’ve got way.

No-one’s gonna hurt you,

no-one’s gonna dare.

Others can desert you,

Not to worry; whistle, I’ll be there.

Demons’ll charm you with smile

for a while, but in time,

nothing can harm you,

not while I’m around.

Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies


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Edges by Marilyn Singer – Poetry Friday

We just received A Stick Is An Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. I love the message that this book of poems sends, AKA, GO OUT AND PLAY! I picked a poem that reminded me of my daughter, and what I believe she’s thinking when she is involved in an activity that makes me a wee it nervous. 😀


I like to walk the edges —

the curbs, the rims, the little ledges.

I am careful not to tilt,

to stumble, slump, or wilt.

I pay attention to my feet

so that every step is neat.

I am dancing in the air,

but I never leave the street.

A Stick Is An Excellent Thing

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