Children's Poetry

Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T. S. Eliot

‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’ is about a fiendish feline character from T. S. Eliot’s light verse collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Macavity, the mastermind of criminal plots, knows how to cover his tracks.

Macavity The Mystery Cat by T. S. Eliot Visual Representation

The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay depicts the lengths mothers will go to in order to protect their children. The speaker recalls watching his mother sacrifice herself for him when he was a young boy, weaving an enormous pile of clothing with a harp. 

The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay Visual Representation

Mr. Nobody by Anonymous

‘Mr. Nobody’ by Anonymous is a clever children’s poem that shifts the blame for all mischief and messes over to an unknown entity– Mr. Nobody. 

Mr. Nobody by Anonymous Visual Representation

The Duel by Eugene Field

‘The Duel,’ one of the best-known poems of Eugene Field, tells the oddly amusing tale of the gingham dog and the calico cat.

The Duel by Eugene Field Visual Representation

The Song of the Jellicles by T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Song of the Jellicles’ features the characteristics and nature of the Jellicle Cats, made famous by the musical adaptation, Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Song of the Jellicles by T. S. Eliot Visual Representation

Bleezer’s Ice Cream by Jack Prelutsky

Have you ever gone to an ice cream store selling twenty-eight different flavors of literally everything? You’ll be doing yourself a favor by visiting BLEEZER’S ICE CREAM STORE.

Bleezer's Ice Cream by Jack Prelutsky Visual Representation

Hush little baby, don’t say a word by Mother Goose

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word” by Mother Goose is a popular nursery rhyme that originated in the southern United States. It is addressed to a crying child and includes the many things that their father would do for them to make them happy.

Hush little baby, don't say a word by Mother Goose Visual Representation

One For Sorrow

‘One For Sorrow’ it’s an old English nursery rhyme that playfully interprets magpies (a type of bird) as signs of the future. 

One for Sorrow Visual Representation

How Many Miles to Babylon?

‘How Many Miles to Babylon?’ is a children’s nursery rhyme and singing game that was first recorded in the 19th-century. 

How Many Miles to Babylon? Visual Representation

Flower On the Road by Chitra Padmanabhan

‘Flower On the Road’ by Chitra Padmanabhan is a sweet and simple children’s poem that emphasizes everyone’s ability to bring joy to the world, no matter their size.

Flower On the Road by Chitra Padmanabhan Visual Representation

The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘The Wind’ by Robert Louis Stevenson inquires into the nature of the wind. Stevenson uses a young speaker in order to adequately convey a child-like wonder of this common element.

The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Windy Nights’ by Robert Louis Stevenson is a children’s poem about a nighttime storm. It was first published in 1885 in A Child’s Garden of Verses. 

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

On My Boat on Lake Cayuga by William Cole

William Cole’s ‘On My Boat on Lake Cayuga’ is a light verse poem that presents a contrast between the sounds of a traditional boat and modern four-wheelers.

On My Boat on Lake Cayuga by William Cole Visual Representation

The Camel’s Hump by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Camel’s Hump’ is a fun poem on the repercussions of lethargy and inactivity. Humorously, we may grow a “Cameelious hump” if we feel like “we haven’t enough to do.”

The Camel's Hump by Rudyard Kipling Visual Representation

I’ve Got an Apple Ready by John Walsh

John Walsh’s ‘I’ve Got an Apple Ready’ appears in The New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse. This poem features a child who is in a hurry and keeps an apple in case she needs it on the way.

I’ve Got an Apple Ready by John Walsh Visual Representation

The Panther by Ogden Nash

‘The Panther’ by Ogden Nash is a children’s poem about panthers. It uses humor to depict the panther and the dangers it poses.

The Panther by Ogden Nash Visual Representation

Alice the Camel

‘Alice the Camel’ is a fun nursery rhyme and counting song. It describes Alice the camel and depicts her losing humps through the six stanzas until a surprising punchline ends the song. 

Alice the Camel Visual Representation

Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Winter-Time’ by Robert Louis Stevenson depicts the winter season from a child’s perspective. His imagination comes through clearly in his depictions of what all there is to see and experience, negative and positive. 

Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

Aiken Drum

‘Aiken Drum’ is an interesting Scottish folksong. It dates back to 1820 and describes what one strange man’s clothes are made out of.

Aiken Drum Nursery Rhyme Visual Representation

The Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess

‘The Purple Cow’ by Gelett Burgess is a funny short poem. In it, the speaker declares his opinion about seeing and/or being a purple cow.

The Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess Visual Representation

How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam

‘How to Eat a Poem’ by Eve Merriam uses eating fruit as a metaphor for reading poetry to encourage readers to enjoy poetry.

How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam Visual Representation

As I Was Going by Charing Cross

‘As I Was Going by Charing Cross’ was first recorded in the 1840s. But, it likely dates to an early decade. It’s thought that this nursery rhyme was likely shared through street cries or chants.

As i was going by charing cross

Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea

‘Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea’ is a traditional English folk song and nursery rhyme. It describes a speaker’s longing for her love, Bobby Shafto, who is out on a sea voyage.

Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea

Animal Fair

‘Animal Fair’ is a fun nursery rhyme that describes the actions of a monkey and an elephant, which ends with a cliffhanger.

animal fair

A Friend’s Greeting by Edgar Guest

Edgar Guest’s ‘A Friend’s Greeting’ is a heart-touching poem about a speaker’s gratitude for his dearest friend. This poem is written in the form of a greeting in verse.

A Friend’s Greeting by Edgar Guest Visual Representation

Being Brave at Night by Edgar Albert Guest

‘Being Brave at Night’ is written by the American poet Edgar Albert Guest and it was published in his poetry collection Rhymes of Childhood. The speaker of this piece talks about how he is not afraid of anything that comes across to terrify him at night.

Being Brave at Night by Edgar Albert Guest Visual Representation

A Wise Old Owl

‘A Wise Old Owl’ is an English nursery rhyme. It depicts the qualities an owl has that make him wise and worthy of admiration.

a wise old owl

Here we go round the mulberry bush

‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’ was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century by James Orchard Halliwell. It was noted, as a great deal of nursery rhymes were, as a children’s game.

here we go round the mulberry bush

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