Poetry and songs are natural to children. They speak Poetry and songs themselves, unwittingly spilling out metaphors of the most surprising and engaging kind. Good poems do the same thing. Babies, toddlers, and young children just love the sounds of poetry or songs, even if they don’t understand all the words or the meanings of the poems or songs.
Children of all ages seem to remember children’s poems and songs with relative ease, especially rhyming poetry and songs. Poetry and songs are also part of one’s cultural identity, part of one’s shared culture.
Expose children to poetry and songs simply by reading it aloud and emphasizing the rhymes or the sounds of the words. Let them to enjoy the sounds of the language. With older children, get them to think about different kinds of poetry or songs. Introduce older children to different kinds of poetry books – anthologies, concrete poems or songs , narrative poems or songs, and humorous poems or songs. Show them the huge sweep of what poetry can be about color, nature, and emotions.
by Kahlil Gibran
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
“Speak to us of Children.”
And he said:
Your children are not your children:
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
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