Skip to content

We Ask a Book Blogger: Who is Your Favorite Poet?

April 12, 2013

Each month, we present a panel of book bloggers with a question relating to children’s books and we share their views here on the blog.  If you missed last month’s post on the books that changed our bloggers’ perspectives on an issue or a person, you can read it here .

This month’s question came about as a result of April being National Poetry Month. I thought it would be fun to see what poets or poems our bloggers love, and I have to say, this may be my favorite post they’ve contributed yet! There is such a wealth of goodness here, so many different choices for readers of all ages, shapes and sizes. I think it goes to show that poetry doesn’t need to feel boring or intimidating, and that introducing it to children is so important as a way of enriching their exposure to literature in all forms. I hope you enjoy today’s post!

9781454903284

Though I have a number of poets who write poetry for either children and/or adults, I think I continue to come back to Langston Hughes as my all time favorite poet.  I love the simplicity and power within his poems.  My favorite of his would be “My People” with the second being “Harlem.”

MY PEOPLE

The night

is beautiful,

so the faces

of my people.

The stars

are beautiful,

so the eyes

of my people.

Beautiful, also,

is the sun.

Beautiful, also,

are the souls

of my people.

– Alyson, Kid Lit Frenzy @alybee930

9780805069860

The first poet that sprang to mind was Robert Frost. Maybe because growing up I loved “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I admired the poem’s gentleness and lilt, the deceptive simplicity of the rhyme, and the emphatic repetition of that last line. In fact, I loved the poem so much I memorized it. Later, in high school, I read “The Road Not Taken,” and other poems, although I never memorized one again!

– Joanne, My Brain on Books @JoanneRFritz

9780375504068

I’ve always had a favorite poet/poem. As a child I loved Shel Silverstein. In middle school I had a brief obsession with Edgar Allen Poe, particularly “The Raven.” In college I moved on to two poems that I love to this day, “If by Rudyard Kipling and “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou. I’ve read and loved many others but these are the ones that have stuck with me.

– Heidi, YABibliophile @hmz1505

9780764954269

I am bonkers for Edward Lear. I’ve been a limerick fan ever since learning how to write them in Mrs. McRoberts’ 3rd grade class. And since then, my love for words has only grown. It’s why I love writing — shaking around words in my brain and then spitting them out to make sense of something. But I also love when it doesn’t make sense, and that’s why I love Edward Lear. Even when it doesn’t make sense, the story and imagery is so rich that you’re tricked into accepting it as sensible! That’s the magic.

My favorite? The Jumblies. Who wouldn’t want to buy a lovely monkey with lollipop paws?

– Carter, Design of the Picture Book @carterhiggins

9780061576539

I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I don’t really have a favorite poet, but Jack Prelutsky will always have a special place in my heart because my son adored his work and would memorize and recite his poems.  Being introduced to fun poetry like that at an early age made my son realize he doesn’t have to fear poetry like I do.

– Kathy, Bermudaonion’s Weblog @bermudaonion

9781595142955

It’s hard to choose my favorite poet since my tastes depend so much on my mood. I’m going to cheat and give two:

W. H. Auden. I love the breadth of emotion he conveys. His poems may make me laugh or make me cry, but they always, always make me ponder.

Robert Paul Weston. This contemporary Canadian author blew me away with his middle grade novel, Zorgamazoo. It’s told in rhyme, so that makes this author a poet! Katrina Katrell’s adventures just beg to be read aloud. Imagine a very sophisticated Dr. Seuss book that holds up for 283 pages. I wouldn’t have believed it possible until I read it.

– Tegan, TSquared Blog @ttigani

9781934414903

On the last day of one of my Children’s Literature classes at U of Oregon, Barbara Kiefer, my professor, read us this poem as we ate chocolate and listened.

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

I have never forgotten the way Barbara swung her hips during this reading, her ability to become this woman with magic hips, hips that need expansive places.

It’s not a long poem but, oh! what power it wields. To this day, some 30 odd years later, I think of this poem when I pull my clothes on, when I need to move someone out of my way, when I feel the sway of fabric against my calves. The words in this poem make me walk taller and stronger, giving me serious weight in the world, and when I swing from the hip, damage can be done.

Amazing what a few ably placed words read at the right time can do, isn’t it?

– Rene, Notes from the Bedside Table

Do you have a favorite poet or poem? We’d love to hear from you!

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2013 8:09 am

    I really need to work on exploring poetry!

  2. April 12, 2013 3:17 pm

    Nothing wrong with Jack Prelutsky, Kathy!

    And oh, Rene, I have to thank you. I’d forgotten about Lucille Clifton. I was lucky enough to hear her recite her own poetry when I was in college. I’ve never forgotten one line from a poem I believe is called “The Thirty-Eighth Year” in which she describes herself as: “Plain as bread/round as cake.” It was so simple, yet so eloquent.

  3. April 16, 2013 11:03 am

    I love to write in rhyme and enjoy so many different poets. It was such fun to read through this post and be reminded of poems and poets from different points in my life. I have always been a fan of Shel Silverstein’s style and memorized many of his poems. I am curious about Zorgamazoo and will keep my eye out for it. A few years ago I heard an audio clip of Robert Frost read “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and enjoyed it because it sounded so similar to how I always read the poem to myself. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Happy Poetry Month!

  4. April 16, 2013 1:44 pm

    I know I liked “Casey at the Bat” as a kid. One helpful way a youngster can memorize poetry as well as work on their typing is to use the free tool http://memorytyper.com/.

  5. May 19, 2013 2:54 pm

    I do believe all the ideas you have introduced to your post.
    They are really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the
    posts are too brief for newbies. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time?
    Thanks for the post.

Trackbacks

  1. We Ask a Book Blogger: What Book Do You Like to Give to New Mothers? | Random Acts of Reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: