metro mama

Friday, October 20, 2006

Poetry for Kids

Last week in my Romantics class we were looking at Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. One of the things we discussed was how the poem would appeal to kids. The poem is very rhythmic, and there is lots of alliteration:

Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
’Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

You’ll recognize this:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Kids are also attracted to the supernatural element of the poem. At times it’s downright scary:

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

I can’t wait until Cakes and I move beyond board books. I'm going to try all kinds of stuff out on her--I think we may be surprised what appeals. Also, kids might have some pretty neat interpretations of poetry, with their imagination and open minds.

Do any of you read poetry to your kids? What do they like? Or, what do you plan to read to them?

Board books are for chumps.

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18 Comments:

Blogger kittenpie said...

The best thing is that you can read them anything! Buy yeah, I love to use poetry with kids. They are naturals for it - it's all around them already in nursery rhymes, lullabies, songs, finger plays, school yard chants... I always start out my poetry month festivals pointing that out to them because it shows them how unstuffy it can be.

I think one of the ones that is a great share with kids is one my own mom had me memorize as a child - Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. I think there's even a lovely picture book of it somewhere... Hmmm. I smell a mommyblogs post...

9:57 AM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

eeeek. I am such a not poetry gal. I hide my head in shame.

You are going to just die though when Cakes gives you her first poem, written on crinkly paper....

10:04 AM  
Anonymous ali said...

my kids love "if you could wear my sneakers" by Sheree Fitch.
really, really great!

11:50 AM  
Blogger jen said...

we are still in the chumpy board book phase, but she likes the charlie and lola books now, and those are much more amusing - i will not ever eat a tomato - or something like that...

but poetry, ah yes. YES.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strawberry loves learning new poems when she watches 4 Square on Treehouse. I've been meaning to pick up a book of children's poetry for a while. However a lot of children's books read like poems with their rhyming patterns.

2:34 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

i tried out shel silverstein on bee, but she just wanted to rip the pages. we'll stick to board books right now, but her favorites either have pictures of animals, or they rhyme.
check out oopsie! ouchie; sample line:
'did you step on something mushy, and fall upon your tushie?'

best damn poetry i ever read.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

My ten year old son loves poetry. He used birthday money to buy his own copy of "Where the Sidewalk Ends" this year. We love taking turns reading the poems out loud to each other.

3:53 PM  
Blogger petite gourmand said...

lulu loves the poetry on 4 square too.
(yikes we watch far too much treehouse.)
I'm sad to say I don't read her enough poetry.
But her favourite is defiantly Dr. Seuss and we have a book that my mom gave us that has all the classics like
Sally go round the moon
The Miller of Dee
Three Blind Mice etc..
are they considered classics?
not exactly Dylan Thomas but we both enjoy it.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

K loves alligator pie. I was surprised that she would sit and listen to it from quite a young age. Doesn't work with any other poetry though.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Awww. Seth does love some poetry. THere's a train poem he LOVES. He also likes jazz music. Kinda funny. But also kinda cool.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

Coleridge is one of my FAVOURITES! I'll read the Ancient Mariner to the monkey one day, no doubt. I'll also read Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market -- a great cautionary tale with so very many layers! And, the Brownings....Many of the Victorians, for that matter -- that was the age of children's literature. Oh...what fun it will be!!! :)

9:01 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

lady, tag! you're it.

check out the deets at my place.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous k said...

We read tons of poerty to Aidan. He loves it. He has a book that helps him write poetry too, it prompts him in different ways. It's great. He's um. Just a little older than Cakes(he is 6).

I think sometimes that parenting just gets more and more fun as they get older.

It is so cool watching them form into these intense and wonderful individual people with so much to offer. So much more that just the combination of you and your partner... Your kids just become these little independent minded people- it is amazing.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you know me, you know I like poetry, (well, maybe you don't). I read my kids Sandra Boynton, children's author extraordinaire.
I have a 1977 copy of Dennis Lee's poetry called "Garbage Delight". I used to read that to The Bug, but I don't think Boyo's ready for it yet.

2:18 AM  
Blogger hautemama said...

Z is only 4 months old, but she loves Dr. Suess poetry! (so do I)

2:31 AM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

There is a really fun kids poetry book we are reading right now.. beware it may result in a new fascination with CAKE. But hey it is Can Lit so it must be good for us, right!

Sleeping Dragons All Around by Sheree Fitch. (hard to find outside a library)

And I always recommend the following, too when folks are looking for poetry for parent and child:
http://motherwoman.blogspot.com/2006/02/recommended-title-if-not-for-cat.html

1:14 AM  
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4:04 AM  
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6:50 AM  

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