A Child’s Garden of Poetry – HBO Special

A Child’s Garden of Poetry is a show running on HBO for a couple of more days.  So if you have HBO – go see it while it’s still on!  It’s a half hour program geared towards kids… but adults will enjoy it too.  In the show, kids talk about poetry and read a few poems.  Actors read some poems too.  Most of the poems were animated.

The kids who were interviewed on the show gave some great advice about writing poetry.  Here’s what one 6 year old girl named Joslyn said, "You just think about what you want to write about, and you use that… for your title, and then just try to describe those things in a soft drifty way…"

Here are a couple of my favorite poems from the show…

“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers
By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird—
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

The following is a Japanese Haiku poem written by Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694).  Haiku poems are only three lines.  The first line is 5 syllables, the second is 7 and the third is 5 syllables again.

Japanese Pronunciation:

Furuike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

English Translation:

Old Pond

A very old pond
A frog jumping into it
Sound of water, splash!

(English by Mama Lisa)

The following poem was beautifully read in the show by Liam Neeson. 

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

You can read all of the poems from the show online in pdf format.  Other poems that touched me are "When You Are Old" by Yeats, "Sweet Spring is Your" by E.E. Cummings, and the Chinese poem, "Thoughts on a Still Night" by Li Bai.

This article was posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2011 at 9:49 am and is filed under China, Chinese, Countries & Cultures, English, Haiku, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Poems, Languages, Movies, TV & The Internet, Poems, Poetry, Poets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply