What Children’s Poetry is For by J. Bottum is a four page PDF which discusses what poetry to use with children and what to avoid. It also tells you a great deal about some poems that I didn’t know. For example:
Similarly,when A.A.Milne,the early 20th-century author of Winnie-the-Pooh,writes:
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
a prosodist might tell us that Milne is nearly recreating, in a stressed English line, the rhythms of a quantitative Sapphic strophe straight out of Horace’s Latin Odes. There may be some interested in the fact that the rhythm technically runs — / – u u / – u u / – u u /– / – / /– / – u u / – u / – u u /-/-,just as there may be some interested in identifying the flaw in the ninth foot (â€œMotherâ€is one unstressed syllable s h o rt ) . But itâ€™s awfully hard to imagine any child being interested, just as itâ€™s hard to imagine any child who couldnâ€™t immediately hear the rhythm in the poem without ever having heard of either Sappho or Horace.
Of course, I knew the part about the child being uninterested. It was that the rhythm was from Horace that I didn’t know.