Poetry Speaks to Children

ISBN: 9781402203299

By: Elise Paschen

Published: 10/01/2005

The best of the best--for children!

Available Formats




New York Times Bestseller!

In the tradition of Poetry Speaks, the anthology named a Best Book of 2002 by School Library Journal, and praised by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as "a volume to delight longtime lovers of poetry and to spark new love for poetry, especially among the young," Sourcebooks MediaFusion is proud to introduce the joy of the written and spoken word in Poetry Speaks to Children.

Parents, educators, librarians, and poetry enthusiasts have wondered for years how to get children really interested in poetry. Until now, there hasn't been a collection of poems and poets that spoke directly to that elusive audience. Poetry Speaks to Children cracks through that barrier by packaging the best poems by the best authors along with a CD-making the engrossing and often mischievous verses come alive in the voices of many of the creators.

Poetry Speaks to Children reaches into the world of poetry and pulls out the elements children love: rhyme, rhythm, fun and, every once in a while, a little mischief.

More than 90 poems, for children ages six and up, celebrate the written word and feature a star-studded lineup of beloved poets, including: Roald Dahl; J. R. R. Tolkien; Robert Frost; Gwendolyn Brooks; Ogden Nash; John Ciardi; Langston Hughes; Sonia Sanchez; Seamus Heaney; Canada's best-loved children's poet, Dennis Lee; Rita Dove; Billy Collins; Nikki Giovanni and X. J. Kennedy.

On the accompanying CD, 50 of the poems are brought to life--most read by the poets themselves--allow the reader to hear the words as the poets intended.

Hear Gwendolyn Brooks growl her rhyming verse poem "The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves, or, What You Are You Are" with verve and inflection-relaying the story of the striped cat who "rushed to the jungle fair for something fine to wear," much to the hoots of his jungle peers. Amid jeers, sneers and sighs, the tiger eventually learns to be comfortable in his own striped skin (or fur as it were!).

Follow Ogden Nash as he tells of the brave little Isabel, who "didn't worry, didn't scream or scurry" when confronted with a ravenous bear, a one-eyed giant or a troublesome doctor. Her clever solutions to problems ("She turned the witch into milk and drank her") will keep even the most reluctant readers interested.

Listen to James Berry, who quells a little girl's anxieties about her color by celebrating the marriage of "night and light," emphasizing how all colors are necessary in nature, in "Okay, Brown Girl, Okay."

Turn the page and tune in . . . kids won't be the only ones hooked!

About the Author

Elise Paschen

Elise Paschen is the author of Infidelities (Story Line, 1996), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Houses: Coasts (Oxford: Sycamore Press, 1985). Her work has been published in magazines such as Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The Nation and in numerous anthologies including Reinventing the Enemy's Lannguage and A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women. Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America (from 1988-2000) and co-editor of Poetry in Motion (Norton, 1996), she teaches in the Writing Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently she is a Frances Allen Fellow at The Newberry Library. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter. Rebekah Presson Mosby interviewed more than 350 contemporary poets and writers as the host and producer of the syndicated radio literature series New Letters on the Air from 1983-1995. Since 1987, she has filed 140 art news features and six one-half hour documentaries as a freelance reporter for National Public Radio. She also freelances as a producer/editor for Rhino Records. Her Rhino titles include the multi-disc audio anthologies In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry (1996) and Our Souls Have Grown Deep Like the Rivers: Black Poets Read Their Work (2000).


Table of Contents

Publisher’s Note

The First Book, Rita Dove
The Quarrel, Maxine Kumin
Letter to Bee, Emily Dickinson
Hurt No Living Thing, Christina Rossetti
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
Wolf, Billy Collins
The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves, Gwendolyn Brooks
from “The Adventures of Isabel,” Ogden Nash
On a Flimmering Floom You Shall Ride, Carl Sandburg
El Chicle, Ana Castillo
The Dentist and the Crocodile, Roald Dahl
Bear Song, Kay Ryan
Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll
Sneeze, Maxine Kumin
Mrs. Mitchell’s Underwear, Dennis Lee
Okay, Brown Girl, Okay, James Berry
Vowel Owl (Roger),John Hollander
Magic Words, Anonymous Inuit Poet, translated by Edward Field
The Unwritten, W. S. Merwin
Crayons: A Rainbow Poem, Jane Yolen
Gas, C. K. Williams
Knitted Things, Karla Kuskin
from Macbeth, William Shakespeare
Frodo’s Song in Bree, J. R. R. Tolkien
Eagle Poem, Joy Harjo
The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Langston Hughes
I Rise, I Rise, Anonymous Osage Poet
Verses from “The Elephant’s Child,” Rudyard Kipling
Alphabets, Part 1, Seamus Heaney
John Smith and his Son, John Smith,Wallace Stevens
About the Teeth of Sharks, John Ciardi
Dinosaur Diets, Jane Yolen
My Sister Saw a Dinosaur, Mary Ann Hoberman
Joey,Brad Leithauser
Rabbit, Mary Ann Hoberman
At Last, James Stevenson
Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog Which I Gave to His Royal Highness, Alexander Pope
Balloons, William Jay Smith
Hide and Seek, Robert Graves
Every Time I Climb a Tree, David McCord
The Reason I Like Chocolate, Nikki Giovanni
Trips, Nikki Giovanni
Mommies, Nikki Giovanni
Lineage, Margaret Walker
Snowmen ,Agha Shahid Ali
Good Luck Gold, Janet S. Wong
The Secret Song, Margaret Wise Brown
Why?, James Stevenson
The Question, Karla Kuskin
First Grade, William Stafford
Crying, Galway Kinnell
Art Class, X. J. Kennedy
How to Paint a Donkey, Naomi Shihab Nye
Daddy Fell Into the Pond, Alfred Noyes
Working with Mother, Myra Cohn Livingston
A Faery Song, W. B. Yeats
The Unicorn,Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Paul Muldoon
The Lion and the Lily, Elizabeth Spires
hist whist, E. E. Cummings
The Ghost and Jenny Jemima, Dennis Lee
from “The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe
Sheep Party, John Fuller
Jamaican Song, James Berry
Halfway Down, A. A. Milne
Count to Ten and We’ll Be There, Rita Dove
opposite poem 4, Richard Wilbur
opposite poems 7 and 20, Richard Wilbur
from “The Tale of Custard the Dragon,” Ogden Nash
Good Hot Dogs, Sandra Cisneros
Lies, All Lies, William Cole
Which is the Best?, James Stevenson
Casey at the Bat, Ernest L. Thayer
The Testing Tree, Part 1, Stanley Kunitz
Skating in the Wind, Kristine O’Connell George
A Poem for Jesse, Sonia Sanchez
To P.J., Sonia Sanchez
Valentine, Donald Hall
Summer, W. D. Snodgrass
Winter, W. D. Snodgrass
The Sun has a Tail, Emanuel di Pasquale
Knoxville, Tennessee, Nikki Giovanni
I Am Cherry Alive, Delmore Schwartz
The Tyger, William Blake
Conversation with a Mouse, Robert Bly
On Turning Ten, Billy Collins
How to Stay Up Late, X. J. Kennedy
Flashlight, X. J. Kennedy
Maturity, X. J. Kennedy
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, Eugene Field
Little, Dorothy Aldis
Two in Bed, Abram Bunn Ross
Brother, Mary Ann Hoberman
The Land of Counterpane, Robert Louis Stevenson
from “The Bed Book,” Sylvia Plath
The Coming of Teddy Bears, Dennis Lee


““Beautifully illustrated… the accompanying CD is the real treat”” - Family Circle

““Beautifully illustrated… the accompanying CD ...

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Format: Hardcover

Length: 9 in
Width: 10.875 in
Weight: 25.00 oz
Page Count: 112 pages


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