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When I asked my friend Linda, the librarian for her favorite childhood poem, she wrote this from memory. Beautiful handwriting, perfect spelling and punctuation.
I try to find poems that are relevant to kids today .
Poems are a great way to introduce a new and colorful vocabulary to growing minds. Please take the time to read poetry to your children and define any words that they may not have heard before.
I had too few books when I was young so the ones I had were read over and over. Bennet Cerf's "Houseful of Laughter" was one of those treasures. I was introduced to the hilarious Ogden Nash and Richard Armour.
Today's kids have not experienced trying to get ketchup from a glass bottle but I will never forget this from Richard Armour:
"Shake and shake the ketchup bottle; none will come, but then a lot'll."
I love this poem by A.A. Milne:
If you were a bird and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind,when the wind came by.
You'd say to the wind, when it took you away,
That's where I wanted to go today!
I always give credit to the author of any poems I use. I contact poets to ask permission to use their writing even though I don't sell the cards and make no profit from this enterprise. This has been very well received by the writers.
I enjoyed reading and reciting poems to my own children when they were young. I hope you will consider purchasing books of poetry for your children.
Here's one of Ogden Nash's:
A mighty creature is the germ
Though smaller than a Pachyderm
His customery dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
by giving people strange diseases
Do you, my poppet feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
April Halprin Wayland
IN THE WORD WOODS
by April Halprin Wayland
I’m sure there’s a found poem somewhere here.
There usually is this time of year.
Didn’t a red-haired boy lose words
that were found last May by a flightless bird?
And then that search and rescue hound
dug up sixteen poems he’d found.
Listen for falling bulletin boards,
and scowling poem-poaching hordes
who stomp all over this hallowed ground
until the hidden poems are found.
I’ll bring a flashlight, you bring a rake
we’ll get down on our knees and make
a poem from words that have trampolined
off an internet ad or a magazine
into the woods some starry night
waiting for searching kids who might
find a poem if they’re brave and follow
the hoot of an owl to the end of the hollow.
...and I find your work absolutely delightful--and so full of kindness and generosity, just viewing it makes me a better person!
My goal in life these days is to be kind...I salute you
So, of course you may use my work. Thank you for asking. Thank you for crediting me.
You're not a star high in the sky
But a bug whose bum shines bright.
I love to watch your twinkle-light.
What a lovely message from you. I think this idea is so beautiful, spreading cheer to those who need it most. I’m honored to be asked and I’m happy to give my permission for any of my poems to be used. May I see one or two when they’re finished? Would you like me to send written copies of the ones you would like to use?
I noticed that you give credit on the postcards and that’s all I ask.
You’re making the world a better place with your work. I’m lucky to be associated with your project.
Thanks for thinking of me!
J. Patrick Lewis
I like this one from his "Science Trickery"
An absolutely famous guy,
He showed us all the reasons why,
By flying super fast, you know,
Your watch runs relatively slow.
Giant among the brilliant giants,
He wrote formulas for science.
So amazing, they contain
Stuff exclusively for brains!
Answer: Albert Einstein
Meet Barbara Vance
Barbara Vance was born in Colorado and lives in Dallas, Texas. She is the author and illustrator of the award-winning poetry collection, Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain. She has a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in literature and storytelling. After teaching for many years at a university, she founded her own company, Vance Studios, where she walks thousands of writers through the story-creation process.
Thank you for your lovely email. Absolutely. Please feel free to use the verses for your lovely cards. Thank you for your kindness!