Favorite Poems

April is National Poetry Month! So I bet you can guess what will be the subject of my posts for a while. And more specifically, as you can tell from this post’s title, this one is about favorite poems. I’ll be giving a some of my favorites here, and readers can give their own in comments or emails. Be sure to say why you like them, and I’ll post them on the blog.

Okay, so first off: Brian O’Linn, written by an anonymous author. It’s a poem of nonsense: “Brian O’Linn had no watch for to wear,/He bought a fine turnip and scooped it out fair,/ He slipped a live cricket right under the skin–/’They’ll think it is ticking,’ says Brian O’Linn! It’s a just a fun poem that will make you laugh with its ridiculousness. It can be found in the book A Pot O’ Gold.

Another favorite is Oatmeal, written by Galway Kinnell. It’s a free verse poem, meaning it has no rhyme, and it’s one of my favorite poems to read when I have a chance. You could say it has a subtle humor, I suppose. And it includes one very important piece of advice: Never eat oatmeal alone. (Apparently it is not good for your mental health.) This poem can be found in Poetry Speaks Who I Am.

Number three–How I Discovered Poetry, by Marilyn Nelson. Also free verse, and also found in Poetry Speaks Who I Am. One of the best things about poetry is the way the words just sound and flow. The effect is something not-quite-but-kind-of-musical. This poem is a good example of that, and that’s one of the reasons I like it so much.

Yet another poem I love is penned by Alexander Pope, and it’s called Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog Which I Gave to His Royal Highness. I think it’s hilarious, and since it’s only two lines long, I’ll give it to you right here: “I am his Highness’ dog at Kew;/Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?” I hope the giver of the dog didn’t get in too much trouble for being smart. This is found in Poetry Speaks to Children.

And last but not least, The Survivor, by Marilyn Chin. It carries a kind of quiet strength, telling the reader to not be tortured by what they are or are not. Whether you are a boy or girl, white or black, etc. This poem is in the book Poetry Speaks Who I Am.

That’s all for now. But there are so many more great poems out there, dozens upon dozens. Used Book Shop by X. J. Kennedy, Zodiac by Elizabeth Alexander, Dressed Up by Langston Hughes, and many, many more. Read some poetry this April, and don’t limit it to just then! Remember, if you comment/email with your favorite poems and give reasons why you like them, I’ll mention them in upcoming blog posts. Bye for now!

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

This book is just fun. It is full of monologues/dialogues, all based on everyday life in Medieval times, every one written by the talented hand of Laura Amy Schlitz. There are parts from Nelly the sniggler, Constance, a pilgrim, and even Giles the beggar. And, believe me, there are tons more.This helps children gain insight into what life was like all those centuries ago. Who knows, maybe your ancestor was a tanner, or a glassblower? These witty bits of literature are a great way to get children interested in history, and how people lived before them. Some rhyme, some don’t. Some are for two actors, some are for one. You can read them just to yourself, or get a friend and take turns acting out the various parts. What makes them even more fun (and this is just something cool I noticed) is that they’re all related. Occasionally, a story will be told from two points of view, or you just might learn more about one character while reading about another. It’s just a fun book that’s meant to be…well, fun. I’m confident kids will enjoy it, and it’s not just kids that like books or history. It gives children with a dramatic flair a chance to enjoy themselves as well. I definitely suggest you at least take a look. See you!

P. S. Guess what? Girl Knows Books is approaching it’s 100th post! Yes, that’s right! The countdown starts today. June 13, 2011: 9 posts to go!

Poetry Speaks Who I Am

Does anyone remember the post I did ages ago called Poetry Speaks To Children? Well, this is almost exactly like that. The only difference is that these poems are more for kids, maybe…let’s say 11 and up? These poems are about growing up, whether it’s your first kiss or discovering something you never thought about before. From In The Desert to Litany, these poems will serve the purpose of cheering you up, convincing you that you aren’t alone, or just plain making you feel good as you read them for fun. Some rhyme, some don’t, some are serious, some are more free-wheeling and just there. But I loved every moment of this book, and feel confident that many others would, too. So try it. Go out to the bookstore or library. Read one poem, that was all it took for me. Enjoy it.

The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

I don’t know how many of you are aware of this, but April is National Poetry Month. So, what better way to celebrate it than writing some poetry posts, huh? I wouldn’t be surprised if nearly any person reading this knew the name of The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, written by the well-known Langston Hughes, but how many of you have actually read it? It’s a stupendous collection of poems on all things, from the rise and fall of the ocean to quiet girls. Not only do these works entertain, but they also give a bit of an insight to the author and how he lived. I’ve found that many books do. The poems are made even better by the unique illustrations of Brian Pinkney. This book will satisfy anyone, a sailor, a fashion designer, a dreamer, and you.  So, to commemorate National Poetry Month, why don’t you give it a try? I’m sure good old Langston would be pleased!

A Pot O’Gold

LOVE this book. I’m all for learning more about my heritage and the places I come from. One of those places is Ireland, the world of Leprechauns, Fairies, and a country that (as I’m told) loves its words. For anyone interested in Ireland’s culture, whether you’re Irish or not, this is a book that it wouldn’t hurt to read. Even if you’re not interested, would it be so bad as to give it a try? Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. First things first. This book by Kathleen Krull is a treasury of Irish folktales, songs, poetry, and blarney. It’s separated into different subjects, such as Food and Music. From the tale Bewitched Butter to song Cockles and Mussels, I’m fairly certain you will enjoy this book. The words are also accompanied by lovely pictures, as a plus. So, why don’t you break out your library card and do yourself a favor?

Love That Dog

Author Sharon Creech delivers a book of most original poetry, in a most original form. Jack doesn’t like poems. So how can he write them? His teacher really expects him to write them? C’mon. But over the course of the year, and as Jack encounters different types of poems, he starts to yield to the words. And the reader will gradually become acquainted with his dog. That yellow dog. Gosh, he loved that dog. When Jack reads a poem by Walter Dean Myers, titled Love That Boy, he starts to open up about that dog, Sky. Sky’s not there anymore. But Jack doesn’t forget about him. This book was very unusual and touched my heart. As a plus, I am wild about dogs. I recommend this book for people who don’t even like poetry, because it will change your mind. And watch out for the sequel, Hate That Cat.

Poetry Speaks to Children

Yep, it’s poetry! And all you kids out there making faces, you’re wrong! This a wonderful book with a verse for everyone and every personality. Whether your favorite is Why?, by James Stevenson, or Lies, All Lies, by William Cole, you will love to just pick up this book and flip through it. These are poems that will always bring a thoughtful smile or an amused giggle to your lips. And they’re from different poets: Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, James Berry, and scores of others. I love these poems because there is always one to fit my mood, whether it’s funny, quiet, or even a little nonsensical. Whichever way you feel, this book is sure to please. And even if some poems are not to your liking, I’m sure there are at least a couple that are. So go online, or take a walk to the library. I don’t care, just find this book and read it.