The Case For Children’s Poetry


I was lucky enough to see the legendary Michael Rosen perform at the South Bank on National Poetry Day, to the squeals and shouts of delight of the children sat on the floor at the very front of the stage in the Royal Festival Hall.

He was followed by the rainbow-drop-multi-sensory-poetry-experience that is Laura Dockrill, who had them shouting “Pain Au Chocolat”, with exaggerated and exuberant enunciation. Her cheery persona, spot on vernacular, combined with bewitching poems  – the one about a boy going to live with his Nan was so evocative you could smell it- is perfect for engaging kids in the possibilities of poetry.

I may be doing a poetry workshop with my son’s class and this gave me plenty to think about. I will have to do some serious work on how to perform to and pitch poetry at a group of four and five year olds, and how best to facilitate some fun with words. I hope it goes ahead- it will be a great opportunity.

Although I haven’t written poetry for children (yet), Sam and I enjoy playing with language and making up rhymes and poems, songs, and silly phrases which make us laugh on a daily basis. His Granddad recently taught him all about limericks and they spent an afternoon constructing a great one between them.

So I was really pleased to see this article pop up as a link on someone’s Twitterfeed (apologies, I can’t remember whose) which is  a piece written by Morag Styles, who may be the only Professor of Children’s Poetry around. I have borrowed the title for this post, I hope she doesn’t mind… The Case For Children’s Poetry can be read here.

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