Tag Archives: Children’s poetry

Three Anonymous Limericks


poetry tile

There was a young woman named Kite,
Whose speed was much faster than light,
She set out one day,
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

Poems, what a silly thing.
They’re meaningless and boring,
Pointless and rhyme.
Who wastes their time,
Thinking up ludicrous writing.

There once was a grumpy dog,
Who ate all the world’s frogs.
He put the planet on riot,
And France on diet,
Then began to rid the hogs


Jack Sprat by Anonymous


Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

Jack ate all the lean,
Joan ate all the fat.
The bone they picked it clean,
Then gave it to the cat. 


Jack Sprat was wheeling,
His wife by the ditch.
The barrow turned over,
And in she did pitch.

Says Jack, “She’ll be drowned!”
But Joan did not reply,
“I don’t think I shall,
for the ditch is quite dry.”

Appearing in printed form as early as 1670, Jack Sprat was a popular rhyme. Many English folk rhymes were indictments of the politics of the day, or jabs at aristocrats or the Royal family. They could be sung freely in groups without fear of charges of sedition. Theories on the origin of Jack Sprat range from the court of King Charles 1, all the way back to the ransom of Richard the Lionheart, by his brother Prince John and his wife. Between the ransom and the lifestyle of John’s wife Joan, the country was nearly bankrupt.

Morning has Broken by Eleanor Farjeon



Morning has broken,
like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken,
like the first bird
Praise for the singing,
praise for the morning
Praise for the springing
fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall,
sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall,
on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness
of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness
where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight,
mine is the morning
Born of the one light,
Eden saw play
Praise with elation,
praise every morning
God’s recreation
of the new day

Eleanor Farjeon 1881-1965

Eleanor was a sickly child and was encouraged to write by her father Benjamin Farjeon who was a popular Victorian novelist. Over her lifetime, she wrote numerous children’s stories, as well as plays, poetry, histories and biographies. Late in her life, she was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Medal and the Carnegie Medal for her contributions to children’s literature.

Solomon Grundy by Unknown


The_Tales_of_Mother_Goose_-_coverSolomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday:
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy.

Charles Perrault published the first edition of his Tales of Mother Goose in France in 1695, which contained the first stories which we would consider “fairy tales”. The edition was translated into English and published in 1729, to immediate success. John Newberry collected the original set of nursery rhymes in English around 1760 but it was his successor, Thomas Carnan who first printed the collection of rhymes in either 1780 or 1781 under the title, Mother Goose’s Melody, or, Sonnets for the Cradle.  The origin of the phrase or personage of Mother Goose is widely debated and as yet unknown.

TBPL Staff Poetry Favourites ” Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll



’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Lewis Carroll  1832–1898

I have a great fondness for the nonsense poem about the Jabberwock which was part of the Lewis Carroll book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The made-up language is so full and rich and fun that it made me wish I spoke that language and could meet a Jabberwock, or  a Bandersnatch or at least a beamish boy.