Friday the 13th is a good day to focus on poetry about magic, luck, superstitions and beliefs, dreams and nightmares. I gathered just a few poetry books on these topics for my list below. And brand new this year is another gem from—guess who?—Lee Bennett Hopkins. (He is having a very good year!)
Sky Magic is a new 2009 anthology due out next week with 14 poems about the sky, sun, moon, and stars illustrated by Mariusz Stawarski. It’s a gorgeous book, another perfect pairing of artist and anthologist. Every single poem gets its own full color, double page spread with a color drenched landscape showcasing each poem. Poets include new names and old, such as Sarah Hansen, Lyn Littlefield Hoopes, Ashley Bryan, Alice Schertle, Ann Whitford Paul, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Tony Johnston, Georgia Heard, David McCord, James Guthrie, Carl Sandburg, and even Tennessee Williams. Here’s one sampling of the lyrical language of these selections:
by Avis Harley
In the language of stars
lie stories of old
Spelling out sagas,
spilling out light,
a mythical manuscript
filling the night.
From: Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2009. Sky Magic. Ill. by Mariusz Stawarski. New York: Dutton, p. 22.
Beautiful! What a great read aloud collection, for breakfast table or bedtime sharing, as the poems begin with sunrise and end with sunset, in suitable-for-framing scenes in deep blues and violets, vibrant orange and gold.
Poetry about Superstitions, Beliefs, Luck, Magic, Dreams, and Nightmares
Berry, James. 1991. Isn’t My Name Magical?: Sister and Brother Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Field, Edward. 1998. Magic Words: Poems. San Diego, CA: Gulliver Books/Harcourt Brace.
Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Shoe Magic. New York: Orchard.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2009. Sky Magic. Ill. by Mariusz Stawarski. New York: Dutton.
Kennedy, X.J. 1989. Ghastlies, Goops, & Pincushions: Nonsense Verse. New York: McElderry.
Larios, Julie. 2008. Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Mado, Michio. 1998. The Magic Pocket. New York: McElderry.
Prelutsky, Jack. 1976. Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. New York: Greenwillow. Reprinted, New York: Mulberry Books, 1993.
Schertle, Alice. 1999. A Lucky Thing. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Schwartz, Alvin. 1992. And the Green Grass Grew All Around: Folk Poetry from Everyone. New York: HarperCollins.
Wong, Janet S. 1994. Good Luck Gold and Other Poems. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Wong, Janet S. 2003. Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Wong, Janet S. 2000. Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams. New York: Margaret K. McElderry
Yolen, Jane. 1996. Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
I’m happy to note a fun addition to my list of poems about superstitions with a new voice from Britain: Graham Denton, a writer, anthologist and small press publisher of poetry for children in the UK who has authored the poetry collection, Silly Superstitions (Macmillan Children's Books). Check it out!
Join the Poetry Friday gang at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thanks, Tricia!
Image credits: www.funtrivia.com