picture-book-1983812_1280More for National Poetry Month

I’m sharing some of my favorite poems in honor of National Poetry Month.  As a former children’s librarian, I read a lot of poetry aimed at children.  Below are some that appealed to me as an adult.

A Child’s Calendar by John Updike

Mr. Updike wrote a poem for each month and perfectly captures the essence of each month in a temperate climate.  Below are some of my favorite lines.

“January”: “The days are short/ The sun a spark/ Hung thin between/ The dark and dark.”

“September”: “Like plates washed clean/ With suds, the days/ Are polished with/ a morning haze.”

“November”: “The stripped and shapely/ Maple grieves/ The loss of her/ Departed leaves.”

images copyRed Sings From the Treetops by Joyce Sidman

Ms. Sidman writes about each season and how the colors are different in each one.

“Spring”: “Yellow shouts with light!”

“Summer”: “Yellow melts/ everything it touches …/ smells like butter/ tastes like salt.”

“Fall”: “In fall/ the wind feels Black:/ star-spangled/ full of secrets.”

“Winter”: “Black seems blacker:/ Black tree bones in a pearled sky.”

imagesDouglas Florian

Mr. Florian has written many books of very short, memorable poems.  He seems to have fun playing with rhymes and meter.  My favorite sums up the controversy over the status of the planet Pluto in Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars.

“Pluto was a planet/ Pluto was admired/ Pluto was a planet/ Till one day it got fired.”

Other children’s poets I like are X.J. Kennedy and Dr. Seuss, especially for reading out loud.

Reading poems like these makes me want to capture in prose the vividness of poetic language, whether I am describing a person, an emotion, or a setting.  So reading poetry is very inspiring both personally and professionally.