Friday, April 21, 2006

Poetry Friday: Ted Hughes

I've been very excited for this poetry Friday, because I have in my hands a book I wanted very, very much--Ted Hughes' Collected Poems for Children, illustrated by Raymond Briggs. An enormous thanks to Michele of Scholar's Blog (my U.K. source, so to speak) for including this one in a trade.

Ted Hughes' Collected Poems for Children is a gorgeous book. Published by Faber and Faber in 2005, the Collected Poems for Children is arranged by volume, "beginning with those for younger readers and progressing to ...more complex and sophisticated poems." The first volume, for example, is called "The Mermaid's Purse," and contains a variety of sea-related poetry for the very young. Raymond Briggs, an illustrator I've loved since Father Christmas, provides lovely pencil drawings throughout the text in the margins next to the poems.

Today, I'd like to share a poem intended for middle-grade readers, "Moon-Whales," first published in 1976.


The plough through the moon stuff
Just under the surface
Lifting the moon's skin
Like a muscle
But so slowly it seems like a lasting volcano
Leaving a hole blasted in the moon's skin

Sometimes they plunge deep
Under the moon's plains
Making their magnetic way
Through the moon's interior metals
Sending the astronaut's instruments scatty.

Their music is immense
Each note hundreds of years long
Each whole tune a moon-age

So they sing to each other unending songs
As unmoving they move their immovable masses

Their closed eyes estatic
Check out other Poetry Friday contributions: Becky at Farm School, A Fuse #8 Productions recommends a book of poetry for the youngsters, and Jen Robinson offers us Daffodills.

UPDATE! Little Willow contributes a funny Dickinson and Susan at Chicken Spaghetti points to a poetry-writing guide for kids.