Albany Poetry Examiner
Poetry is like music to a child’s ear.
Children’s bodies sway, their feet tap, and they smile when they hear words with rhythm and rhyme. They are delighted with nonsensical poems like, ‘An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe,’ or ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat.’ Parents know that a poem like Alfred Tennyson’s “Sweet and Low,” can soothe a child to sleep. Today we have two children’s poems by Eva Schlesinger.
Would You Like To
“Would you like to elope,
on tea and
“I can’t elope,”
“Can we still eat
[(c) 2006 by CRICKET Magazine Group, Eva Schlesinger, first published in Cricket.]
Talk was abuzz today
as a Mr. Bumble was captured without struggle,
in what could have been a major sting operation.
When brought in for questioning,
and asked to explain his reasons for violating personal space,
he shouted, “None of your beeswax!”
The striped intruder was apprehended midmorning,
as he sauntered in through an open window
and tap-danced on the pane.
“We put him in solitary confinement to observe his behavior,”
Officer Hornet droned, “and later released him.
Punishment involves an hour
of community service with the worker bees.”
[(c) 2009 by CRICKET Magazine Group, Eva Schlesinger, first published in Cricket]
Author’s note: About her poetry she says, “I enjoy playing with the sounds of words and imagining characters and stories to go along with them.”
Editor’s note: Both of these poems are examples of narrative poems in that they have plots. The first one is a problem posed and resolved. The charm of this poem is its goofy juxtaposition of words that rhyme.
The second one is more of an episodic narratiive in that it goes from one scene to another encouraging the reader to see how it all comes out. Here Eva uses a vocabulary that older children would understand from TV programs: major sting operation, brought in for questioning, violating personal space, intruder was apprehended, solitary confinement, observe his behavior, community service. She brings in words that relate to bees such as, abuzz, Mr. Bumble, sting, ‘None of your Beeswax,’ Office Hornet, droned, and worker bees, to make a unified tale. The sense of sound is brought out through shouted, tap-danced, and droned.
‘The poet’s craft—love of the sheer physical pleasures of language: its sonics, it textures, its rhythms—is an enormous ally.’ –Mark Doty
Bio: Eva Schlesinger is the author of the chapbooks, Remembering the Walker and Wheelchair: poems of grief and healing (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and View From My Banilla Vanilla Villa (dancing girl press, 2010). Her poetry has also received the Literal Latte Food Verse Award and aired on public radio. She hopes you’ll visit her online at www.redroom.com/member/ems.