Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bookplanet: poems for kids


Who is this country's most successful anthologizer of poetry? Is it David Lehman, series editor of the "Best American Poetry" books? Or how about Garrison Keillor, editor of "Good Poems" and "Good Poems for Hard Times"?

More likely, it's Caroline Kennedy. Her book "The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis" was a hardcover best seller for 15 weeks in 2001 and 2002. Now she's back with "A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children," and it's another best-seller.

Kennedy's selections, from the Bible to Wordsworth to Seamus Heaney, are terrific, as are the watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth. As it happens, Kennedy's book isn't the only children's poetry anthology selling well - there's also "Poetry Speaks to Children," edited by Elise Paschen, co-founder of Poetry in Motion, the program that puts poetry in subways and buses. "Poetry Speaks to Children" comes with a cool bonus: a CD of many of its poems read by their original authors - including Robert Frost intoning "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and Carl Sandburg reading "On a Flimmering Floom You Shall Ride."

There's not a lot of overlap between Kennedy's book and Paschen's, but they do share eight poems, which together make up a kind of meta-anthology. Those poems are: "Hurt No Living Thing," by Christina Rossetti, "To P.J." by Sonia Sanchez, "Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog," by Alexander Pope, "The Reason I Like Chocolate," by Nikki Giovanni, "Daddy Fell Into the Pond," by Alfred Noyes, "The Tyger," by William Blake, "Good Hot Dogs," by Sandra Cisneros, and Frost's "Stopping by Woods." Kennedy also prints two pieces from a poet who isn't represented in Paschen's book: her mother, billed simply as Jacqueline Bouvier.


Post a Comment

<< Home