This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Robyn Hood Black, Children's Poet

     All my friends know how much I love, love, love THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.


     So many of the poems in the book make me laugh and give me ideas for writing my own poems.  One of my favorite poems in the book is by Robyn Hood Black

      With Robyn's permission, I'm sharing  her poem, Snack Rules with you.


Don't talk with your mouth full--
full of peanut butter.
Anything you try to say
will cmmm out as a mmmttrr.

Copyright © 22012 by Robyn Hood Black. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved.

     When I first read her poem SNACK RULES, my eyes played a trick on me and I read the title as SNAKE RULES and I thought it was the funniest thing to think of a snake with his mouth stuck shut with peanut butter.  When I wrote to Robyn and told her of my mis-sight, she suggested that I write the poem I thought I saw.  Or rather she said something like I always did have a thing for snakes.  (She is right, I've written about them often.)
    So I did.  But when I got done I changed the title to:


My pet snake,
I call him Drake,
likes to eat my snacks.

He eats the cheese,
he eats the nuts,
he eats all my
peanut butter crackers.

My snacks,
He says
are delicious

The only problem,
it happened quick,
the peanut butter
made him sick.

They made his lips
like glue stick.
Now instead of h-i-s-s-s-s-s
my pet snake hics.

A snake with hiccups
could cause fright.
His hic-ing keeps me up
all through the night.

     I'll admit that the rhythm is off in a couple of places, and if you come back tomorrow, I'll show you a nifty way I found for working with that. (I hope.)
     Your poetry prompt for today is to think of an animal and write a poem about something that happens to it.  What happens when the birds eat lemons, or the bear uses honey on his coat, or the dog rolls in the mud, or the hamster eats all your jellybeans?  Can you find an animal that sets your imagination running?  Happy Saturday.  Have fun playing with your poem.

     Thank you, Robyn for sharing your poem with us and for stimulating my creativity.


  1. I love the story of how Robyn's poem inspired yours!

    1. Mary Lee,
      The fun of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY for me is that so many of the poems included in it inspire more poems from me.
      That is your fun poem with onomatopoeia on page 34
      BLUEJAY SINGS TWO DIFFERENT SONGS, isn't it? I love poems with sounds and this is a delightful one to share with young children. I'm already thinking about a whole BIRD CHORUS made up of tercets:
      caw, caw, caw
      noisy birds in corn rows
      six old black crows

      tea-kettle, tea-kettle
      now and again
      pretty Carolina wren

      Or better yet any noisy animal could be used. Oh what fun! This could be a fun game to play.
      In a classroom setting students could suggest repetitive noises and the class could work together for a rhyming couplet to go with it.
      For instance my KEYS poem would suggest
      Jingle, jingle, jingle,
      keys jingle some more
      then open the door.

  2. Both poems are such fun, Joy. I think it would be inspiring to share these with students, to get their brain juices flowing. Great story about the title mis-reading. Sometimes I think the brain sees what it wishes to see.

  3. So much fun! My copy just arrived yesterday and I stayed up late reading, reading, reading. This book is a tour de force, and I'm so glad to see you all there!

  4. Renee,
    I'm so glad that you are enjoying THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY. Didn't Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong do a brilliant job with it? There are so many fun poems and exercises to share with children. I feel so honored and privileged to be included in the book. I'm absolutely tickled pink, can you hear my giggles of enjoyment?
    I can hardly wait to read your interview with David L. Harrison who has three really fun poems in the book:
    "No Way!"
    "Oh Man!"
    and "My Pet"

  5. Joy, thanks so much for featuring my poem and the wonderful new ANTHOLOGY! I enjoyed reading about your poor snake and his dining dilemmas - hisses turned to hiccups is great.

    And thanks to Mary Lee, Linda, Renee and Carol for the fun comments. I love both ideas here: that a quick "mis-read" can lead to an entirely new path, and that a phrase or sound in a poem can lead to creatively exploring many others.

    I think that's what's so great about this collection - who knows where the guidance of a teacher plus the unleashed imaginations of kids might lead?

  6. The poems are playful and fun. I think kids would enjoy them. My niece had a small snake get in her house this week.

  7. Oh, dear, Patricia - maybe it was after the peanut butter!

  8. I'd love to be in a class taught by a dozen or more poets from this anthology. What fun!

  9. Thanks for the laugh, Robyn. Every time I think about that peanut butter, I get a smile on my face.