Monday, April 27, 2009

National Poetry Month -- pip, pip!

We're celebrating National Poetry Month!

Silly poems and serious poems, sunny poems and sad poems, scary poems and every other kind of poem can be found in the many anthologies we carry in our poetry section. To give you a sampling, we've each chosen our favorite from a collection you can find there.

"Snails" from Polka-Bats and Octopus Slacks by Calef Brown
selected by Miruna

It never fails, those pesky snails
are always in the pudding.
Lousy guests, those nasty pests,
they're always up to something.

I've tried like mad to find their nest
but snails are smart I must confess.
The trails they leave can fool the best,
and snails are good at hiding.

Oh well, at least they don't make threats,
they don't eat meat,
they don't place bets,
they almost always pay their debts,
and never puff on cigarettes.
I think I'll keep those snails as pets
and feed them lots of pudding.

"Table Manners" from The Goops and How to Be Them by Gilette Burgess
selected by Katie

The Goops they lick their fingers
And the Goops they lick their knives
They spill their broth on the tablecloth --
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

The Goops they talk while eating
And loud and fast they chew
And that is why I'm glad that I
Am not a Goop -- are you?

"in Just-" by e.e. cummings from Favorite Poems Old and New (edited by Helen Ferris)
selected by Michelle

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from
marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman
whistles far and wee
and bettyandisabel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

balloonMan whistles

"Spring and Fall" by Gerard Manley Hopkins
selected by book buyer Donna

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

"The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear from Poetry Speaks to Children (edited by Elise Paschen) -- read and hear three other poems from this collection at NPR
selected by merch buyer Ellen
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

"Twinkletoes" from When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne
selected by Bethany

When the sun
Shines through the leaves of the apple-tree,
When the sun
Makes shadows of the leaves of the apple-tree,
Then I pass
On the grass
From one leaf to another,
From one leaf to its brother,
Tip-toe, tip-toe!
Here I go!

"Poor Potatoes Underground" from Ride a Purple Pelican by Jack Prelutsky
selected by Rachel

Poor potatoes underground
never get to look around,
do not have a chance to see
butterfly or bumblebee.

Poor potatoes never look
at the fishes in the brook,
never see the sunny skies --
what a waste of all those eyes!

"It's a Dog-Dust Day" by Janeen Brian inspired by "A Break Away" by Tom Roberts, from Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World (edited by Jan Greenberg)
selected by general manager Bindy

It's a dog-dust day.
Sky clamps the brown land in blue heat.
Hawks swing lazy circles
near an archway of tall eucalyptus.

It's a dog-dust day
on the sheep-filled track;
woolly animals hemmed in by crouching dogs
sloe-eyed, sharp-eared, firecrackers when need be.

It's a dog-dust day.
Stockmen shuffle the mob along
with cracks of cries and whistles that split the air.
Then the scent of water, a tumble,

and the sudden leap of a dream-startled sheep
and the mob explodes, scatters, bounds over
fences where none exist!

A break away!

A confusion of bleating and bustling that chokes the track
and a stockman swerves his horse and swipes his hat,
on that shattered, scattered,
dog-dust day.

"Olf" from Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers by Calef Brown
selected by Anne

Olf is a terrible pirate,
with a rabbit instead of a parrot.
He couldn't afford
the usual sword,
so he has to get by with a carrot.

Olf makes a racket
wherever he goes.
Screaming "Shiver me fingers!"
and "Off with your nose!"

His leg has no peg,
and his beard isn't blue,
but Olf is a pirate.
I'm frightened,
aren't you?

You can also celebrate by visiting fellow blogs The Miss Rumphius Effect and Poetry for Children, which explore poetry in children's literature all year long. The "30 Poets in 30 Days" feature at GottaBook offers a never before published poem by a great children's poet every day in April. And don't forget to bring in a poem this Thursday, April 30, for Poem in Your Pocket Day! Not only will you get one of the CG staff's favorite poems in exchange, but you'll get 10% off your purchase!

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