Evening Poetry, July 12

The Willows

by Walter Prichard Eaton

By the little river,

Still and deep and brown,

Grow the graceful willows,

Gently dipping down.

Dipping down and brushing

Everything that floats–

Leaves and logs and fishes,

And the passing boats.

Were they water maidens

In the long ago,

That they lean out sadly

Looking down below?

In the misty twilight

You can see their hair,

Weeping water maidens

That were once so fair.

You can find this poem in the collection Favorite Poems Old and New.

Evening Poetry, July 9

Vegetables

by Eleanor Farjeon

The country vegetables scorn

To lie about in shops,

They stand upright as they were born

In neatly-patterned crops;

And when you want your dinner you

Don’t buy it from a shelf,

You find lettuce fresh with dew

And pull it for yourself;

You pick an apronful of peas

And shell them on the spot.

You cut a cabbage, if you please,

To pop into the pot.

The folk who their potatoes buy

From sacks before they sup,

Miss half of the potato’s joy,

And that’s to dig it up.

You can find this in Favorite Poems Old and New.

Evening Poetry, June 10

The Swing

by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

Rivers and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside–

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown–

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!

You can find this poem in the collection Eloise Wilkin’s Poems to Read to the Very Young, illustrated by Josette Frank.

Evening Poetry, May 30

Setting The Table

by Dorothy Aldis

Evenings

When the house is quiet

I delight

To spread the white

Smooth cloth and put the flower on the table.

I place the knives and forks around

Without a sound.

I light the candles.

I love to see

Their small reflected torches shine

Against the greenness of the vine

And garden.

Is that the mignonette, I wonder,

Smells so sweet?

And then I call them in to eat.

You can find this poem in Favorite Poems Old and New.

Evening Poetry, May 14

Here is a poem from a classic children’s poetry collection. If you have young children at home, please read poetry to them! Let their young ears become accustomed to the rhythm, cadence, and pure joy that can be found in poetry. One simple way to introduce them to poetry is during dinner: often while my kids were eating, I would read them a poem or two. Nursery rhymes count, as do Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky! I am certain there is poetry out there for every person, old or young.

Hold Fast Your Dreams

by Louise Driscoll

Hold fast your dreams!

Within your heart

Keep one still, secret spot

Where dreams may go,

And sheltered so,

May thrive and grow–

Where doubt and fear are not.

Oh, keep a place apart

Within your heart,

For little dreams to go.

You can find this poem in the collection Favorite Poems Old and New selected by Helen Ferris.

Evening Poetry, May 12

My Mother is Mine

by Marion Dane Bauer

My mother is soft.

My mother is strong.

My mother watches me long and long.

My mother sings high.

My mother sings sweet.

My mother can dance

on both of her feet.

My mother feeds me.

She holds me tight.

She never forgets

to kiss me goodnight.

My mother is tall and tall and tall.

But she doesn’t mind

that I am small.

My mother is pretty.

My mother is brave.

My mother still loves me

when I misbehave.

My mother is special.

My mother is fine.

My mother,

My mother,

My mother is mine.

My Mother is Mine was a favorite book of my daughter’s when she was small. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, step-mothers, mother figures, and nurturing, mothering people in our world!

Evening Poetry, May 7

Here is a children’s poem to read to the little ones in your life and for the child in you.

The Spring Wind

by Charlotte Zolotow

The summer wind

is soft and sweet

the winter wind is strong

the autumn wind is mischievous

and sweeps the leaves along.

The wind I love the best

comes gently after rain

smelling of spring and growing things

brushing the world with feathery wings

while everything glistens, and everything sings

in the spring wind

after the rain.

You can find this poem in Read-Aloud Rhymes For The Very Young selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown. This book will always be special to me because it was the first book given to me by a dear friend, Mary Church, right after the birth of my son. She brought it to the hospital. The one I have is here, but as it’s an older edition, you may have to buy it used.

Charlotte Zolotow, the author of this poem, wrote children’s books favorited by my kids, including The Storm Book and Over and Over. I am going to begin writing about kid lit soon, as I have many books that I enjoyed as a child and ones that my kids enjoyed when they were little as well.