Friday, April 1, 2011

Where is a Poem?

(poem by Eve Merriam. illustration by Joseph Schindelman)

All of the book nerds our there know that April is Poetry Month. You know who you are. Those of us who still occasionally read verse instead of prose. The few faithful hanging onto a dying form. I'm happy to admit I'm one of them. In college, I focused most of my literature studies on poetry and it has played a huge role in defining my prose style. Though I don't write much poetry these days, I do enjoy to read it. So instead of a picture book this week, I've chosen a collection of nonsense children's poetry to share.

by Eve Merriam
(Antheneum 1962)

I've always enjoyed the playful rhymes found in silly poems. I bought this book several years ago at a used book store after flipping through it. It's quite fun if you've exhausted Shel and Lear and Carroll. It's not altogether perfect. There are some poems that just don't work as well as others, but that's the nature of poetry collections I think. In some ways, it's the mild ones that make the gems sparkle as you read through. But one of the great thing about children's poetry collections is that there is nearly always a delightful picture that picks up the weaker poems. I feel many a volume of classic poetry could be improved upon with some simple line drawings.

Here's one of my favorites from the book. Enjoy.


There go the grownups
To the office,
To the store.
Subway rush,
Traffic crush;
Hurry, scurry,
Worry, flurry.

No wonder
Don't grow up
Any more.

It takes a lot
Of slow
To grow.

1 comment:

  1. Just delightful. I don't think I'll ever be grownup.