Sunday, December 23, 2007

More Poetry for Christmas

Looking for some Christmas poetry? Here are some suggestions for you.

Try the Web sites of the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets. Both sites have a selection of poems for the holiday.

Poems that can be found at include the following:
  • A Visit from Saint Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore
  • Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Oxen by Thomas Hardy
  • Skating in Harlem by Cynthia Zarin
  • Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Poems that can be found at include the following:

  • little tree by e. e. cummings
  • Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree by George Starbuck
  • Christmas Tree Lots by Chris Green
  • Christmas Eve: My Mother Dressing by Toi Derricotte

Looking for some collections with Christmas poems for children? See if you can find the following books in a local book store or the public library.

Compiled by Michael Harrison & Christopher Stuart-Clark
Oxford University Press, 1999

This illustrated anthology of fifty-four poems contains a number of traditional works, including The Twelve Days of Christmas; Away in a Manger; Oh, Would You Be a Shepherd Boy?; Joseph and the Angel; and It Was Poor Little Jesus, an American spiritual. There are poems by Eleanor Farjeon, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, and Langston Hughes. Although there are three poems by Jane Yolen in this anthology, most of the contemporary poetry selected by Harrison and Stuart-Clark was written by British poets whose names are less familiar to Americans.

Selected by Lee Bennet Hopkins
Pictures by Melanie Hall
HarperCollins, 2004

This slim volume containing twelve Christmas poems is An I Can Read Book. Except for the excerpt from Away in a Manger, all of the poems were specially commissioned for this book. The poems are short—and many are rhythmic and rhyming.

The book opens with a poem entitled Waiting, in which a child speaks about her anticipation of the arrival of Christmas.

From Waiting
by Maria Fleming

And I go on waiting…
and waiting…
Waiting’s the worst.
Because Christmas is coming
and I’m ready to BURST.

There’s a lovely mask poem by Rebecca Kai Dotlich in which the poet speaks in the voice of the holiday.

From Soon
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

I am tinsel.
I am plums.
I am jingle bells,
tin drums.
I am Santa’s
midnight sleigh.
Soon I will be
Christmas Day.

The anthology ends with a poem about a snow globe—also written by Maria Fleming.

From Snow Globe
by Maria Fleming

In here, it’s always
Christmas Day,
where a tiny Santa
rides a tiny sleigh…

Shake it,
and it snows and snows,
and Christmas never


Christmas Presents is a nice little package of holiday poems for beginning readers. It’s also a fine book to read aloud to very young children.

Written by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by Marilyn Hafner
HarperCollins, 1995

Let’s not forget Jack Prelutsky’s book It’s Christmas. Originally published in 1981, it is still in print today. This collection of rhythmic, rhyming poems about a Christmas tree, a letter to Santa Claus, Christmas cards, singing carols, and presents has real child-appeal. The poems in this book are fun to read aloud.

Click here to take a peek inside this book.

Written by Aileen Fisher
Illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies
Henry Holt, 2007

This posthumous collection of winter and Christmas poems written by one of America's finest children's poets is topnotch!

Click here to read my review of Do Rabbits Have Christmas?.

1 comment:

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It is nice to read your poetry, very well written, keep writing this type of amazing poetry.

Wish You a Very Happy Mary Christmas.

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