“And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass.”
I just bought The Rattle Bag: An Anthology of Poetry, a collection edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes. (Thanks, Mom, for the Amazon gift cert for my birthday!) I’ve been looking for a child-friendly collection of poetry that isn’t all the usual standards. I’ve already got plenty of those. I like this collection, what I’ve seen of it so far, precisely because it is so idiosyncratic, determined by the individual tastes of two great poets. All the poems are arranged in alphabetic order by title, allowing for a charming sort of serendipity.
Anyway, after I tore open the box this afternoon, I sat down and opened up the book and read this poem by Pound—and then had to run to deal with a skinned knee or spilled paint or empty sippy or dirty diaper, I forget which. I look forward to keeping this by my chair and flipping through it at random moments. This is my idea of how to teach poetry appreciation. I read poetry. I share what I like, reading it out to Bella and Sophie. What is lovely is how often they respond by composing their own verses. This is how it should be. I write down their compositions and praise their strengths. And so poetry is something we do, something we enjoy. It begins with Mother Goose and it continues with delightful rhyming picture books and I think this is the next stage….
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