Monday, February 19

Children's Poetry: Four for Boys

I'm nothing, if not evenhanded. First, we answer the constitutional question. (Well, at least we attempt to answer it. There are several recipes for boys, it seems.)
What Are Little Boys Made Of?

What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.



And then we have a misbehaving male child, although this wild boy's parents seem positively wimpy compared to our horrid girl's emphatic mother.
The Story of Fidgety Philip

"Let me see if Philip can
Be a little gentleman;
Let me see if he is able
To sit still for once at table:"
Thus Papa bade Phil behave;
And Mamma looked very grave.
But fidgety Phil,
He won't sit still;
He wriggles,
And giggles,
And then, I declare,
Swings backwards and forwards,
And tilts up his chair,
Just like any rocking-horse-
"Philip! I am getting cross!"

See the naughty, restless child
Growing still more rude and wild,
Till his chair falls over quite.
Philip screams with all his might,
Catches at the cloth, but then
That makes matters worse again.
Down upon the ground they fall,
Glasses, plates, knives, forks, and all.
How Mamma did fret and frown,
When she saw them tumbling down!
And Papa made such a face!
Philip is in sad disgrace.

Where is Philip, where is he?
Fairly covered up you see!
Cloth and all are lying on him;
He has pulled down all upon him.
What a terrible to-do!
Dishes, glasses, snapped in two!
Here a knife, and there a fork!
Philip, this is cruel work.
Table all so bare, and ah!
Poor Papa, and poor Mamma
Look quire cross, and wonder how
They shall have their dinner now.
---Heinrich Hoffman



And from Robert Louis Stevenson:
Looking Forward

When I am grown to man's estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boy
Not to meddle with my toys.


Here's a classic that seems to have special appeal to young men. My husband liked it from the time he learned it in elementary school.
O Captain! My Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
---Walt Whitman


Here's how you can join in the children's poetry fun
: Post a children's poem on your blog, let me know of it, and I'll link to you. Those who remain blogless, but still wish to participate, may post a poem in the comments of this post.

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