recess radio program

04/03/06
Poetry Speaks to Children
    by John Cech

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This recording is part of a collection of poems called Poetry Speaks to Children. Many of the dozens of poems in this large, well-illustrated book are voiced by the poets themselves, often in vintage performances. Robert Frost intones his famous "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," and Langston Hughes explains the origins of and reads "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"; Gwendolyn Brooks introduces us to "The Tiger who Wore White Gloves," and Carl Sandburg croons his "flimmerings":

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There are old poems and new poems. Poems that are prayers (like Joy Harjo's "Eagle Poem" and the Osage invocation, "I Rise"), and poems that awaken us with recognitions (like Nikki Giovanni's "The Reason I Like Chocolate"). Every home should have a good, thick book of poems -- poems for all occasions -- to mark the change of seasons, to take us to faraway places, and to reflect on the passages of our lives, as Billy Collins does in his "On Turning Ten." And, perhaps most of all, poems let us explore the vast land of our tastes, for the playful, the unique, the delicious, for the things and especially for the people we love -- as Sonia Sanchez proclaims in the opening of her poem for a young child.

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Copyright 2006 John Cech

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