Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Children's Classics - Poetry

Children's ClassicsOk, this is when my poetry loving friend, Calon Lan, rolls her eyes, screams loudly and wonders why on EARTH I am linking my blog up to hers -- pointing out the fact that I know her and she knows me. After all, I am about to be really, really pathetic.

I confess it to you now (if I haven't already): I do not care for poetry.

I don't understand it and it gives me a headache. I pursue efforts to read it only when Anne (of Green Gables) highly suggests it. (I have read Book I and Book II of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen and really need to complete it. But it's admittedly very hard stuff.)

This month for The Children's Classic carnival over at 5 Minutes for Books, we're focusing on poetry. Truthfully, I was considering dumping the responsibility I felt as a staff writer to participate. POETRY? Pshaw!

Then I thought about the only poem I ever truly loved as a child. A friend of mine told me about the poem and, being in second grade and loathing anytime spent on homework of any sort, I immediately latched on to this particular piece of poetry. This fine gem, and others like it, can be found in Prelutsky's anthology, The New Kid on the Block.

Yes, it is almost humilating to declare that the following is and always has been the only type of poetry I have immediately understood and connected with. It is almost humiliating but not quite enough. Sad, but true. (Although my mother is likely cringing while reading this.)

Enjoy (if you can)!

Homework! Oh, Homework!
by Jack Prelutsky

Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you
away in the sink.
If only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You're giving me fits.
I'd rather take baths
with a man-eating shark,
or wrestle a lion
alone in the dark,
eat spinach and liver,
pet ten porcupines,
than tackle the homework
my teacher assigns.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You're last on my list.
I simply can't see
why you even exist.
If you just disappeared
it would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!

And that's pretty much how I feel about poetry, too, as a general rule.

See? I told you I was pathetic.


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Hey, there's nothing wrong with liking kids' poetry! I happen to think it takes a certan type of genius to write it! : )

I wrote about an anthology Jack Prelutsky compiled. : )

B said...

Well, Prelutsky's not the worst poet to enjoy ;) The one poem of his that I always remember is about the lady who washed everything, including her trash cans. I can relate to that...

Actually, if you want a real poetry challenge, I have the complete Faerie Queen sitting out as a future project. How about a Faerie Queen challenge some time after the Narnia challenge? (I make no promises that you'll develop a love for poetry in the process, though.)

morninglight mama said...

You know, I've never really gotten into poetry for adults-- I've tried to be intellectual and pretend that I got it... but it just never worked for me. But, kids' poetry? That's a different story! :) Love that whole anthology by Prelutsky-- and my pre-k kids always did, too. (Although they'll have a better appreciation for the poem you highlighted here a few years down the road!)

Barbara H. said...

LOL! I imagine that poem resonates with many children!

I love some poetry but don't like a lot of it. I like poetry that speaks in a language I can readily understand, not something so obtuse and abstract and ethereal that only the artsiest of people will "get it."

Ronnica said...

I'm so not a poetry fan either. Don't get it. The only poems I like are funny ones...not particularly academic of me!

When my mom taught 5th grade, she made her class memorize that poem!

Marinela said...

I love poetry too :)

Elisabeth said...

Wow! I had no idea someone who loved reading so much could have such a loathing of poetry! But then, I'm kind of a poetry buff, myself, so I guess I'm a wee bit biased about such things.

Anonymous said...

If you like that poem, might I suggest poems by Shel Silverstein? His poems are similar.

ibeeeg said...

This is a wonderful book of poetry! We received this book from the last round in the Book Swap. The children have enjoyed my reading of poems from this book.
I am with you, generally, I do not like poetry. This book, however, has made exposing my little ones to poetry far more tolerable...even...enjoyable. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

We memorized that poem when I was in elementary school I think. It was one of my favorites :)

Tracey said...

I like Robert Frost because I can normally understand what he's saying. My oldest daughter is fond of Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, a collection of easy-to-read poems that she can relate to. Guess we have simple minds :)

Anonymous said...

I remember this poem!

I think as a teenager I had this idea of how I wanted to be poetic and know lots of poetry, but it didn't really turn out that way.

Although I do enjoy Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and William Wordsworth (with a name like that could he have grown up to be anything other than a poet!?!).

Stephanie Kay said...

I completely agree with you. My level of poetry enjoyment is mostly "I will not eat it, Sam I am! I will not eat green eggs and ham!" :)

Sky said...

For me, poetry is like music, there are so many different kinds that you have to have an eclectic taste in it if you like it at all! I devoured Sir Walter Scott when I was in my early teens, after that I got caught up in really old adventure novels by H Rider Haggard but I always come full circle back to poetry!
ee cummings is one of my favorites;

"All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn."

Carrie said...

LOL....well, apparently as much as I read I'm just a fluke of nature when it comes to liking poetry.

Oh and unless there be any misunderstanding - I do NOT like poetry.

And I'm also poking a great deal of fun at this particular line of children's poetry!

Lisa Spence said...

Doesn't Dr. Seuss count at poetry? It rhymes...

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