Last night I spent about two hours tidying my bookshelf (it was in desperate need of a sort out!), and it finally looks all neat and tidy! Which has, again, got me thinking (seems this is my normal start for now! =] ) ‘I have tones of books’!
I have a two bookshelves and one whole shelf (double layered and stacked on top) is wholly dedicated to poetry!
I have collected poetry books (modern and classics) over the period of six years but, I also have some books from my childhood that I couldn’t get rid of. One of these books is a collection of Spooky Poems by Young Hippo edited by Jennifer Curry (1998) (I’m showing my age now!).
This collection is one of my favourite, not only because I remember reading it when I was young but also because it has some fantastic poems in it that I still love to read now. Which gets me thinking why these poems are so gripping and interesting still, even though I have read them hundreds of times.
The whole collection has a variety of poems, long, short, rhyming, limericks, shaped poems ect. (I could go on!) which makes it an interesting read since it’s not all the same. The only thing the poems have in common is the fact that they are about ‘spooky’ things.
However, I find that some of the poems (now that I’m older) are more factual and interesting of a read than others. One poem, (from Duppy Jamboree, by Valerie Bloom) is a fantastic example of a poem heavily based in a tradition. The poem is from a child’s point of view of a dance that is performed around Christmas where people dress as characters from folk laws.
As a child reading this particular poem it did scare me but, from an adults perspective, it is a very cleverly written poem. The whole piece is written with an accent (Mi get out o’ bed, pull back de curtain)(pg 113, line 8) and help to set the scene and the more the poem goes on the more heavily the accent is presented, showing the child’s emotional state in a very interesting way.
The descriptions of the character holding pitchforks and looking strange with tails and horns really help to present the emotions of the child as well since there isn’t a lot of description in this poem.
The first verse (a chant) also helps to set the tone of the poem and helps to create a really clear image of these dancers in the streets.
In this collection there are other stories that present a different cultures beliefs surrounding celebrations of the dead and mythical creatures which is very inspiring to write as an adult. Though some poems in this collection are ‘childish’ (clear rhyming schemes or ‘shape’ poems), many are still; interesting to read now, and I can enjoy them with my nieces too!
I highly recommend you have a look out for this book in a library and have a flick through some of the poems, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
Are there any collections or poems from your childhood that you love now? Let me know and I’ll have a look out for them!