We Ask a Book Blogger: Who is Your Favorite Poet?
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!
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.”
so the faces
of my people.
so the eyes
of my people.
is the sun.
are the souls
of my people.
– Alyson, Kid Lit Frenzy @alybee930
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!