Put on your silly shoes, tie them up tight! Now wiggle your toes—doesn’t that feel right?
In anticipation of Lawson Gow’s book of poems, Silly Shoes, the Bright Sky Press team presents to you a list of our favorite childhood poems.
Eva: I love ridiculousness, whimsy and nonsense, especially in children’s poetry, and I remember checking out ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ from the library countless times in elementary school. “Tell Me” is one of my absolute favorite poems. We all want to be told how much we matter, how much we mean to someone, how awesome we are. But none of us want to be lied to. We just want to hear the truth. I always felt for all it’s whimsy, that this poem also bore the basic truth we are all in search of…the truth. Just tell me something, anything, about myself that’s good—so long as it’s the truth—because in the end we are all in search of acceptance.
“Tell Me” by Shel Silverstein
Lucy: I loved “Disobedience” by A.A. Milne. It seemed so serious on the surface, but suggested all kinds of mysterious happenings. We memorized it and recited it around the house, along with other poems from Now We Are Six.
Marla: I do not have a favorite poem, but I used to declaim a lot of poems when I was in elementary school in Mexico. The poem is “Paquito” by Salvador Diaz Miron.
Fiona: “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth is one of two most memorable from my childhood – my father made me memorize it as it was his favorite which makes it special to me, especially with his recent passing.
My other poem is “Dulce et Decorum Est”—we had to learn it in school (many years ago) and it had such an impact on me. I would read it over and over again, trying to understand, picture it, imagine the smells. It is such a vivid piece of writing, and obviously for me, very memorable.
Courtney: One of my favorites is “The Unicorn” by Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Although I wasn’t enthralled with unicorns exactly, the poem gave me a lot of interesting ideas about the types of animals that may have been washed away by the flood in the story of Noah. This sparked a phase of “research” about dinosaurs and mythical creatures that must have existed before the flood—I was half-right!
Janice: My favorite poem is “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. This poem has been inspiring me since I was very young when the unknown world lay in the creek in my back yard. I love the simple truths about life and the adventure that it inspires.
Kate: One of my favorites is Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.” This poem is the reigning king of onomatopoeia and, as a result, endlessly fun to read. Carroll creates a story out of made-up words like “fruminous,” “whiffling,” and “galumphing,” which convey their meaning through their sound. Gather an audience and read “Jabberwocky” out loud!
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