My A-Z this year features brilliant, published poets and their fabulous poems for children and young people! Although, I will be posting Z to A so they end up the right way round in the blog listings.
What is a children’s poem? Well, most poets who write for young people agree that is it any poem accessible to a child.
It does not have to be a poem specially written for a child to spark their imagination, their wonder, their interest, or to send shivers up and down their spines.
Although of course children are perennially sent into fits of giggles by words and ideas they see as ‘rude’, these poems in fact make up a tiny percentage of the poetry in books aimed at youngsters. Yes, most of the poems contain humour; but as well as poems to make them laugh, there are also poems to make them think, poems to make them gasp, poems that make them cry, poems to interest them in history, science, nature, animals, art…
A poem sits in a space that is contained – it has a beginning, middle and end that is immediately apparent. It is not a frightening prospect to venture a reading of it. They can encourage a young person who is not so keen on large chunks of prose to enjoy their first book.
A poem has rhythm and is satisfying to read out loud or silently. It often rhymes, making the words chime, and delicious to go back and repeat.
The poems are often frameworks for ideas, and life experiences and worries and changes the young person might be struggling with. They can give children a set of words, a vocabulary to express themselves. They can give PERMISSION for the expression of a children’s own emotions and concerns.
They are little puzzle parts that make up a world of experience, feeling and knowledge, any one of which might inspire a young person in any number of ways.
Over the next month I will introduce you to some of the wonderful people who make up the singularly delightful and fun group – those who write poems accessible by children. Each poet’s entry will contain a poem they have written, a link to their book or website and a short biography about them.
I hope you have as much fun reading as I have/will have writing each entry! I am SO excited, they have some FABULOUS poems to share with you!