Thursday, September 2, 2010

two children's poems + download

Do you have a favorite children's poem? There's something about the classics that are endlessly appealing, and I do so enjoy sharing them.

I recently hosted a Share a Favorite Children's Poem swap, and I sent my partner a copy of Nancy Willard's "The King of Cats Sends a Postcard to His Wife." I've loved this poem since I first read it as a young adult, since it's a touching letter that inquires after the well-being of many members of his household. As you read it, however, you begin to realize that the king has a very specific reason for writing...he wants to make sure all is well, since he can no longer be there to take care of everyone himself. It's a well-written, imaginative poem that's also incredibly thoughtful and sweet. I lost my own father right around the time that I first read this poem, so in retrospect it may have struck a particularly poignant note.

I also sent my partner a copy of another poem that means quite a lot to me. When my husband and I were married, we asked one of our best friends if he would read two poems during the ceremony. One of the poems was Shakespeare's beautiful Sonnet 116, of course, and the other was "The Owl and the Pussycat." It's a charming, tripping tale full of humor and whimsy, which was just the right bit of "us" in all the solemnity and quiet of the day.

If you'd like a copy of the poem, I've put it into a pdf that may be downloaded here, and it includes the text from the poem along with Edward Lear's original 1871 sketches. Perhaps you'll enjoy sharing it with a friend, too!

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