Poems For Children

John RIce, Children's Performer, Poet, Storyteller and Writer-In-Schools, Performing At Night-Time

Why Do I Write Poetry?

When children read my comic/wordplay poems I hope they are able to tune in to the great sense of fun I have when I am writing them; I also hope that when they read the more serious poems they will understand that difficult things in life can be shared and when they are shared, they are more bearable. If I was to forced to sum up in one word what I think children get from reading my poems I’d say ‘enjoyment and empathy’. And yes, I know that’s three words but I didn’t say I was any good at sums!!!

Writing Poetry For Children

If you were handed a ball you would probably pass it from one hand to the other. You’d like the feel of it…its roundness, softness. Then you’d bounce it. Then you’d throw it. You’d experiment with it. Maybe you’d whack it with a stick to see how far it goes then maybe you’d put it in water and wonder why it floats! Sooner or later you’d invent a game with that ball.

It’s the same with language. When I was young I was given the English language. It was a present. I like the sound of it. I like how it’s different in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world. Like all languages it’s interesting and amazing. I now know my language so well that I experiment with it. I have a lot of fun doing that!

And the best way to experiment with any language is to write poetry…especially for a young audience because in the land of children’s poetry there are few fences, just miles and miles of open territory!

There are many animals that live in the vast savannahs of Africa – just as many topsy-turvy words live in the land of children’s poetry. I’m going on safari….see if I can catch a poem…see ya soon hairy baboon!

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