Poems for Children?

When I was a child, my mother use to read me all kinds of literature.  Now that I understand these stories and poems a little more, I’m amazed at what is considered children’s literature.  In the book, London is one of these poems. London is kind of a depressing poem about the poverty that London had “back in the day”.  When I read this poem, it brings me back when my mother use to read me the Ring Around the Rosie poem. What I didn’t know then is that one of my favorite childhood poems would be something historical.  Ring Around the Rosie is about the plague and about people dropping dead.  It is kind of the same deal when you look at the poem London by William Blake.  I am amazed that these poems, we enjoy as children, but realize later that these poems we have come to love as children are based on real events.  Is this really appropriate for our kids?  In a way, I think so.  I think that since children’s  minds absorb so much information very quickly, we can teach our kids the history of the literature, and maybe they can find a new respect for the things they are reading


3 thoughts on “Poems for Children?

  1. Sometimes it boggles the mind how much kids actually get. Ring around the Rosie an excelent example of theses sorts of things. It isn’t a poem written for kids by adults, that’s straight out of the heads of kids. Then you gave things like Grimm’s Fairy Tales which expose kids to horrors in a safe environment of fiction. A good bit of children’s literature is just unsettling and it works a young mind in a good way, I think.

  2. Children’s literature is a surprising genre in itself. It is a an excellent tool to get the ball rolling in conversations many children will have with their parents/guardians about topics brought up in their favorite books. Children’s literature is, I think, a good way to introduce kids to “real life” without direct contact. It introduces kids to situations they may come across when they’re older, situations where they will have to choose between what they’ve been taught is right or wrong. And, like you said, it is a great way to ease kids into the history of what they read and maybe give them a respect for it as well. It may even give them a new perspective. Like in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the protagonist, Percy, is raised by his mother and stepfather. A lot of kids can already relate to this, but kids who were raised by both “real” parents (or even one parent) can maybe get a better understanding of what it‘s like. Obviously, it’s not the complete picture and not the case in every situation, but it does offer a small glimpse at what it’s like through the child’s eyes. Or even in Inkheart where the protagonist, Meggie, is raised solely by her father. It gives the young reader, a new respect for kids in that situation, whether it is a direct influence or not.
    Again, Children’s literature, is a genre in which it is easier to cushion the lessons of life between the pages of action and adventure but still have an impact in such a way the child can walk away with a deeper understanding… whether he knows it or not.

  3. I never actually thought about the true meaning behind children’s poems until I read your blog. That is mind blowing! I also believe that fairy tales can relate to this topic. Fairy tales make little girls believe that one day they will and should find their prince charming. In today’s world “true love” seems hard to find. So, you find those who call themselves “hopeless romantics.” It brain washes them. With out these poems and stories their would be no imagination.

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