we leave love in a corner of the garden;
under a bench, almost hidden amid grimy flower pots
brimming with black-skinned rainwater.
Love left where the revitalising sun cannot reach.
Love is not happy consigned to such shadows.
Troubled, it claws the gravel. Uneasy, it scrapes the soil.
And whether guilty or blameless –
you have to get down on your knees to retrieve it.
the Cry-Babies are tearful:
“Phew, phew! Too hot, too hot! I want the sun to set!” they howl.
When the sallow sun sets on a wild winter evening
the Cry-Babies are snivelling:
“Brrr, brrr! Too cold, too cold! I want the sun to rise!” they bawl.
Silly little Cry-Babies! Don’t know what they want.
Darkness, lightness…coldness, warmness…happiness, sadness.
“Yes! Yes! That’s what we want! All them! All them!”
I have a hand of metal,
I have a hand of clay,
I have two arms of granite
and a song for every day.
I have a foot of damson,
I have a foot of corn,
I have two legs of leaf-stalk
and a dance for every morn.
I have a dream of water,
I have a dream of snow,
I have a thought of wildfire
and a harp-string long and low.
I have an eye of silver,
I have an eye of gold,
I have a tongue of reed-grass
and a story to be told.
Copyright John Rice, 2014
This is one of my favourite poems. It has appeared in lots of anthologies and has been set to music and recorded by the wonderful Irish singer Padraigin Ni Uallachain on her CD called 'When I was Young: Children’s Songs from Ireland'. It’s a poem that tries to capture the essence of the Celtic cultural spirit as it mentions song, dance, storytelling and music.
Poetry Is Important: Very young babies adore nursery rhymes because they are rhythmic and repetitive.
As children get older, they begin to become fascinated by words and how they look and how they sound different from each other...words become quite attractive and interesting little machines!
Poetry allows us to experiment with rhythm and sound and also allows us to investigate language and meaning. Poetry is good for children just as porridge was good for Robert Burns!
What Makes Poetry So Cool?