In our tech savvy and productivity oriented culture, there is little time given for real poetry. Childhood is the ideal time to instill this pleasure, when attraction to language is strong and minds are fresh, uncluttered, and relish any new sound or idea. One of my own favorite childhood poets was Walter De La Mare. His short poems sprinkled the pages of our school readers and found their way into many anthologies for children. Indeed, he compiled a few collections of poetry for children himself.
The best way to begin to enjoy poetry is simply to read it aloud, however you like, and let the words fill your ears and teach you themselves how to love them. Here are three little poems to share with your children:
THE cat she walks on padded claws,
The wolf on the hills lays stealthy paws,
Feathered birds in the rain-sweet sky
At their ease in the air, flit low, flit high.
The oak's blind, tender roots pierce deep,
His green crest towers, dimmed in sleep,
Under the stars whose thrones are set
Where never prince hath journeyed yet.
SOME one came knocking
At my wee, small door ;
Some one came knocking,
I 'm sure sure sure ;
I listened, I opened,
I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a-stirring
In the still dark night ;
Only the busy beetle
Tap-tapping in the wall,
Only from the forest
The screech-owl's call,
Only the cricket whistling
While the dewdrops fall,
So I know not who came knocking,
At all, at all, at all
ONE night as Dick lay half asleep,
Into his drowsy eyes
A great still light began to creep
From out the silent skies.
It was the lovely moon's, for when
He raised his dreamy head,
Her surge of silver filled the pane
And streamed across his bed.
So, for awhile, each gazed at each -
Dick and the solemn moon
Till, climbing slowly on her way,
She vanished, and was gone.
For the joy of reading,
You may also enjoy "What's in a Poem"