One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Child's Verse

Welcome Saturday!  It's been a great week of National Poetry Month prompts and I, Margaret Bednar, am here to help the effort along.  My local "City Arts" center hosted an artistic showing of elementary school age children's artwork from area schools.  Today the challenge is:  A child's verse.   How is this done?  Well, my first smarty pants remark was "Keep it simple, stupid".   But the more I pulled books form library shelves, the more I realized this simply is not true!

Poetry for young children is beautiful in its simplicity of words and ideas but the rhythm and metaphors, based on my own feeble attempts, I was surprised to find rather difficult.

I have posted far more images than I should have (It's been suggested no more than six) so I am breaking a "rule" today.  Rest assured, I did whittle it down to half (with my six year old's drawing thrown in at the bottom - his was not in the show - it graces the side of my refrigerator).  

You may use any of these, or a drawing from another child.  

I enjoyed many an author in my research … Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, Myra Cohn Livingston, Charolotte Zolotow, Anna Grossnickle Hines, Hilaire Belloc, the list really does go on & on.

… and "Poetry for Children" is a blog "About finding and sharing poetry with young people".  

Two of my favorite children's poems are classics we all know:

The Secret, which is by Anonymous in most books, but I found one who gave credit to Emily Dickinson… (She did write a beautiful poem of this title, perhaps it is a typo)

The Secret

We have a secret just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just we three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the - I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little - something in it -
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.

As I child I adored (and still do) Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Swing"

Perhaps we all need a tree swing in our backyard - I don't ever remember being unhappy or stressed while swinging so high and free …

If you follow the links, you will find these authors wrote about a variety of feelings:  loneliness, fear, sadness, as well as the joy of childhood.

Off with you now, simpler is not easier… and you have 24 hours to come up with a new poem.  Link to Mr. Linky … way down at the bottom of this page.   Have fun finding the inner child!  (Remember, Open Link Monday is just around the corner and you may post there as well if you are swamped today).


jo-hanna said...

Oh Margaret, Absolutely enchanting!
I was staggered by the differences in technique and point of view. The perception in the moon/sun face, the cat with the little secret cupboard over its whiskers, the birch trees with the coloured composition behind.The fingerpainting. I can see how you couldn't restrict the numbers any further. For myself: I could have see three times as much.
Well done you for this endearing post.
Sadly I have no 'headroom' to write to it at present, but might at the end of the month.

Kerridwen said...

Oh dear, I like so many of these paintings, and some of them I LOVE!! They are amazing... Oh, what to write, what to write! I hope to write one this afternoon since I'll be out soon. :)

Anonymous said...

6 - it's the new math :)
hope to be around this weekend to catch up on reading and commenting. Thanks, Margaret ~

Sumana Roy said...

ah they do reside in wonderland...
..great prompt Margaret..

Anonymous said...

What a great prompt, Margaret! And the artwork! Amazing! I could, quite possibly, go on writing a piece for each and every picture, but... *smile*

Susan said...

What Fun! Thanks for always remembering to bring the art. I used 2 pictures. Feel free to give the poem to both of the artists for ever as long as they credit me. It will disappear from my blog in a week or two.

Margaret said...

Grapeling - the new math! I got a great laugh out of that one.

Susan - I don't know who the artists were - it was open to the public and I did not share the children's names for obvious reasons. There were no restrictions for photographing the artwork, so I feel fine using it here.

I had some issues with Mr. Linky duplicating itself … but somehow I fumbled my way through the maze of codes and I think I fixed it.

Susie Clevenger said...

Margaret, I love the prompt. It is so beautiful to see the world through a child's eyes.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow! That was a tangle of linkys! Well done it putting it all straight, Margaret!.

Margaret said...

I read all of them to my six year old son and he liked all the short ones. Ha ha. Mine was "too long". Granted it IS a nice sunny day outside and he was squirming to get outside. I'll try again tonight ;P

Grace said...

Thanks for the lovely prompt Margaret ~ I am also happy that Mr. Linky was fixed because I saw several this morning ~

Happy weekend to all ~ Lovely weather here at last ~

hedgewitch said...

This is just a charming challenge Margaret, albeit not exactly in my wheelhouse. ;_) I will see if I can strike a lighter vein for tomorrow's poem a day, since mine is already up for today on Hannah's--I am, as usual a day late, a doughnut short of a dozen, and LTTP.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What incredible children's art, Margaret. Exceptional!

humbird said...

Thanks, Margaret for inspiring pictures...brought some memories...

C.C. said...

Nice nostalgic prompt....thanks for prompting a lovely walk down memory's childhood lane.

Margaret said...

Such sweet poems! Feel free to post late and post to Open Link Monday. I will be back to check if anyone new posts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret--I am posting late--and used a drawing of a big child I know. I love children's poetry and books, so great fun, thanks. k.

Hannah said...

Thank you for the challenge!! I so enjoyed viewing these talented young artist's work, Margaret!

Wolfsrosebud said...

I so enjoyed this prompt... thanks!

Kerridwen said...

Finally wrote a poem!

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