Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Poetry

The website of The Academy of American Poets has a special section devoted to Halloween. It features poems about ghosts, haunted houses, vampires, and the underworld. It even includes suggestions for poet costumes.

Here are two poems to share on Halloween--one from William Shakespeare and one from my friend, children's poet David McCord.

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I [Round about the cauldron go]
by William Shakespeare
The three witches, casting a spell
Round about the cauldron go;  
In the poison’d entrails throw.  
Toad, that under cold stone   
Days and nights hast thirty one  
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,  
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.  
     Double, double toil and trouble;
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble.  
Fillet of a fenny snake,  
In the cauldron boil and bake;  
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,  
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,  
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,  
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,  
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.  
     Double, double toil and trouble;  
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,            
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf        
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,              
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,   
Liver of blaspheming Jew,     
Gall of goat, and slips of yew             
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,            
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,          
Finger of birth-strangled babe              
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,   
Make the gruel thick and slab:            
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,          
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
     Double, double toil and trouble;  
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 


Mr. Macklin's Jack O'Lantern
by David McCord
Mr. Macklin takes his knife
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
Three holes bring eyes and nose to life,
The mouth has thirteen teeth in place.
Then Mr. Macklin just for fun
Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his
Wry mouth to Jack's, and everyone
Dies laughing! O what fun it is
Till Mr. Macklin draws the shade
And lights the candle in Jack's skull.
You can read the rest of the poem here.
Irene Latham has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem...




Linda B said...

Happy Halloween, Elaine! Almost there. Thanks for the examples & the second one by McCord too.. Hope your little Julia is excited. My granddaughter is going as a pteranodon, & brought her costume to show me last weekend.

Mary Lee said...

Thanks for the links -- good stuff!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I got Julia a jack-o-lantern costume. It's adorable. She's walking a t a really good clip these days. I hope your granddaughter enjoys Halloween.


Mary Lee,

I barely have time to blog these days. Making plans for renovations at our new home. Looking to install some bookshelves, hardwood floors, etc., there. Still living in our old homestead. I'm really going to miss my library here.

Tabatha said...

Thanks, Elaine! I enjoyed looking at the Poet Costumes -- I think bringing a red wheelbarrow full of candy if you are dressed as William Carlos Williams is a great idea :-)