And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go*

It’s poetry month! What better time to share our favorite poetry?

Mine skews towards narrative poetry, and especially toward works written before the development of the novel:

Beowulf — particularly the Seamus Heaney translation, which combines beautiful words and flowing language with the exciting, bloody story.

Sir Gawain and the Green Night — especially the Simon Armitage translation, which perfectly captures the playfulness of the story.

And for something modern, I’ve always loved Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends“—it gives me the shivers, every time.

What are your favorite poems—shiver-worthy, cry-worthy, or laugh-worthy?

*The title of this post is from “Where the Sidewalk Ends

6 thoughts on “And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go*”

  1. The Random House Book of Poetry, edited by Jack Prelutsky, is something that calls out to me when I’m in search of something unique to share with children. It has many works from one of my favorites, Walter de la Mare.
    Also, John Keats!! William Blake!!

  2. Oh boy oh boy. Well my poetry list is loooong but here are a just a few that continue to amaze me:

    1.One Art by Elizabeth Bishop:
    “So many things seem filled with the intent to be lost/ that their loss is no disaster.”

    2. Romance Sonámbulo (Somnambular Ballad) by Federico García Lorca- Alan Trueblood’s translation:
    “Under the gypsy moon, things are watching her/ things she cannot see.”

    3. Aubade, Philip Larkin:
    “Not to be here, not to be anywhere, and soon: Nothing more terrible, nothing more true.”

    4.Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines, Pablo Neruda:
    “Love is short, forgetting is so long.”

    5. Bone, Mary Oliver:
    “The soul might be like this- so hard, so necessary- yet almost nothing.”

  3. Although I love Tennyson and many others, my favorite poet is still Shel Silverstein. His LISTEN TO THE MUSTN’TS poem in WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS is a message everyone needs to hear, especially kids.

  4. Sooo many I love! I’m someone who finds it impossible to choose favorites of anything… so I’ll just name some that are coming to mind.

    – “Talisman” by Suheir Hammad
    – “Thanks” by W.S. Merwin
    – “won’t you celebrate with me” by Lucille Clifton
    – “Cartalk: A Love Poem” by Jack McCarthy
    – “Acceptance Speech” by Lynn Powell

    And some poems on poetry–

    By Eve Merriam:
    – “How To Eat a Poem”
    – “Reply to the Question: ‘How can You Become a Poet?'”

    By Ruth Forman:
    – “If You Write Poetry” (from RENAISSANCE)
    – “Poetry Should Ride the Bus” (from WE ARE THE YOUNG MUSICIANS)

  5. When I graduated college an Aunt gave me Oh, The Places You’ll Go. It definitely made an impression.

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