As some of you may know, since retiring from high school teaching four years ago, I have been volunteering with libraries and infant schools, which means I spend a lot of time with young children. One of the things I love about little kids is their curiosity. The two schools where I listen to five-, six- and seven-year-olds read are both advocates of the ‘forest school’ and have areas where youngsters can engage with nature, especially mini beasts.
Yesterday I suggested a book for a little girl who loves nature. Caterpillar Butterfly (by Vivian French and beautifully illustrated by Charlotte Voake) is an autobiographical book about the summer when Vivian French and her grandfather watched a family of tiny caterpillar eggs turn, stage by stage, into butterflies. We had a wonderful time reading this book and I was amazed at her prior knowledge and understanding.
I recalled a few poems I have read that are about or include insects, and wondered how many more I could find. Apparently there are lots of them, but most of the ones I found were pre-twentieth century. Here are a few of my favorites:
John Donne’s ‘The Flea’ uses an interesting and unusual conceit to seduce a woman! The Flea
William Oldys’s ‘On a Fly drinking out of his Cup' is based on an ancient Greek poem by Anacreon. Click HERE to view.
Another poem about a fly is Emily Dickinson’s ‘I heard a Fly buzz – when I died’. It’s one of her best-known poems.
Click HERE to view.
Click HERE to view.
‘The Ants’ by William Empson and ‘Butterfly Dancing’ by Alison Cassidy are two of the modern poems I found.The Ants
This week’s mini challenge is to write a NEW poem in a form of your choice about INSECTS and BUGS. It doesn’t matter whether you love them or hate them, revile them or praise them. However, because they are mini beasts, keep it short (no longer than 30 lines).
Join our ugly bug ball by clicking on Mister Linky and filling in your name and url. And please remember to read and comment on other toads’ poems – toads love bugs!
All images found on Pinterest.