In honor of April being National Poetry Month I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on some of the great poets and their works. I could admire the great Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, or even Edgar Allan Poe, for they all have such unique styles and wonderful pieces of literature. Although they are all certainly great in their own way, there is little poetry that is closer to my heart than that of which I read in my younger years. Certainly Shel Silverstein who wrote Where The Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree are children’s poetry books that all of us should have read when we were younger. Although these two are great classics and even aimed at children, my personal favorite is not as well known as the works of the great Silverstein, but is written by Carol Diggory Shields. The book is titled Lunch Money and Other Poems About School. I remember reading this book as a child, but forgetting about it until later in a middle school English class when I rediscovered it when analyzing children’s literature (and sure was I glad to find it and reminisce a little bit!) The poems in this book are pretty straight forward with no hidden meanings or themes, but they sure are cute and have some light-hearted humor. If you are an elementary education major you also may get a kick out of some of the poems since they are rather realistic when it comes to the behavior of young children.

Below is an example of one of the poems in the book. The poem is written in cold language (meaning a child with a cold/ is sick) and I think although it is a silly poem, it is certainly a feeling we can all relate to at one time or another.

Code

I dibbin go to school today,

Bom looked at be and said, “No way.”

Wend back to bed and here I’ll stay,

‘Cause I hab a terrible code.

By throad is sore, by eyes are bink,

By node dribs like a leaky sink,

By head’s so stuffed it hurds to think.

I hab a terrible code.

I challenge you in honor of National Poetry Month to take advantage of the library’s collection of poetry. Peruse through the PN, PR, and PS sections of the library when you have a few free moments. Maybe even head over the children’s section and find some children’s poetry, so that you too can reminisce a little.

CJC

Shields, Carol Diggory. Lunch Money and Other Poems About School. New York: Puffin Books, 1995. Print.