The weather was beautiful here yesterday. My husband and I went to the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, and after a winter that just won’t quit it was like stepping into spring! There was a Daffodil Show indoors sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society, but outside daffodils and other spring blooms were everywhere! I didn’t realize that there are nearly 700 different varieties of daffodils! Inspired, I wrote this short poem—
Usher in the springtime,
Fill my yard with sunshine—
On the bottom of one of the posters at the show was a poem called “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth. It begins this way:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze….
Don’t stop here! A Child’s Garden of Poetry, presented by the Poetry Foundation, features a video of the poem, DAFFODILS, read by David Matthews on their website. Listening to the poem, and watching the short video, I could just imagine myself ‘dancing with the daffodils!’ A child’s Garden of Poetry also has two other videos that feature readings of poems.
As U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis said in a recent interview, "Poetry should be read out loud even if you are all alone in a room. Readers should want their ears to have as much fun as their mouths are having."
Here are a few more places to watch videos of children’s poetry being read out loud.
J. Patrick Lewis can be found reading his poem, “Chromosomes” at Scholastic.
Go to Ken Nesbitt’s website, Poetry4Kids.com, where you can hear and watch some of his funny poems for children, including “My Teacher Calls Me Sweetie Cakes,” and “I Taught My Cat to Clean My Room.”
On the pbs website, Reading Between the Lions, you can listen to even more poems for children on video.
Hear Renee LaTulippe, children’s author, read her poem Jake the Snake!
Listen to some poems by Ted Scheu and hear a little about what inspired them.
Enjoy childrens' poetry this month by listening to some poems being read out loud. Go a step further, and read some of your own favorite poems out loud. But better yet, celebrate spring by writing a poem of your own. Read it out loud to your family. It will tickle your ears and your tongue as well!