I will admit to being a novice at poetry, and in fact, not a huge fan of it. However, I am a fan of reading poetry aloud to children. I think one of the reasons I didn’t like poetry was because I only encountered it in school, which wasn’t very fun.
My favorite poetry is strong on rhythm and rhyming – which I know isn’t necessarily the most sophisticated type. But it’s a start, and I read all kinds of different poetry to my children.
Recently, we read William Blake’s Tyger, Tyger burning bright. We all enjoyed it, so when I discovered A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard, I brought it home from the library to read with my children.
Blake’s Tyger poem inspired Willard to write her book of poetry, which is strong on rhythm and rhyme (my favorite!) and fanciful visions of animals.
“When the rabbit showed me my room,
I looked all around for the bed.
I saw nothing there
but a shaggy old bear
who offered to pillow my head.
“I was hoping for blankets,” I whispered.
“At home I’ve an afghan and sheet.”
You will find my fur soft
as the hay in your loft,
and my paws make an admirable seat.”
Highly recommended for ages 8 and up.