I have, at times, over the last year or so participated in Poetry Friday. I always look forward to Fridays, to seeing what poems are posted, to recognize a few I’ve loved and to fall in love with a few I’ve never seen. But I don’t always post an entry on Poetry Fridays because I talk myself out of it. I do think I have a fair to middling knowledge of children’s poetry (and poetry in general), but my immediate access to poetry is limited to the books I have here in Brazil, or to poems I can find online. And often, I’m a couple of months behind receiving the new releases. So I feel a little goofy sharing a poem or a book that I know someone else has already shared or reviewed. And most everyone has seen Here’s a Little Poem, the anthology from Candlewick that was compiled by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters.
But we recently received this book here in Brazil and have fallen in love. As a matter of fact, when I took it out to write this post, my three year old daughter sidled up next to me, worked her way underneath my elbow, stuck her head in between my chest and the book and said, “Mommy, I want to sit in your lap. Can you find the Bananas and Cream one?” (referring to Bananas and Cream by David McCord on pages 12 and 13 of the book). She sat on the couch for a full 30 minutes BY HERSELF the other day looking at every page of this book after I had read a few of the poems to her. She giggled loudest at I am Rose by Gertrude Stein on page 11 (from The World is Round):
I am Rose my eyes are blue
I am Rose and who are you?
I am Rose and when I sing
I am Rose like anything.
I thought at first that she was laughing at the exuberant illustration by Polly Dunbar. But later, when I walked into the room, she was still sitting on the couch with the book in her hands, joyfully shouting: (I’ll substitute her initial for her name)
I am K my eyes are blue
I am K and who are you?
I am K and when I sing
I am K like anything.
Which made the poet in me so happy. She had turned the page back to that poem and in her mind, she remembered it with her name. She had seen herself in those words. And she made it her own. Which is exactly what I’d hope for in a poem, or a poetry collection, or a book.
And if I’m completely honest, K’s not the only one who saw herself in the pages of this lovely book. 🙂