poems for small folks

Many of these poems have been used as copywork and dictation for Max’s Poetry Collection binder. He paints, colors, draws, or collages a background for each poem so the illustration reflects what he takes from the poem and how it made him feel.

An F indicates a Coryell Castle favorite, while a P indicates a PDF printable of the poem. Poem subjects, type, meter, and other follow in italics, if and when appropriate.

(Anonymous, Biblical, and Traditional)

“Thirty Days Hath September” (months of the year)
The Athenian Oath (oath)
“Johnny Appleseed’s Thanksgiving verse”
The Beatitudes
The Lord’s Prayer (prayer)
Psalm 23 (psalm)
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
“The Father’s Vineyard”
May Day Proverb
“My Garden”P
“Chain Song”, Traditional to Faluni tribe of West Africa (song)
“Charms for Love” (nursery rhyme)
“I eat my peas with honey…” (nursery rhyme)

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (bio)

“A Song From the Suds”
“Our Little Ghost”

DOROTHY ALDIS (bio)

“Every Insect”

CECIL FRANCES ALEXANDER (bio)

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (reverence) F

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (bio)

“The Fiddler”

MAYA ANGELOU (bio)

“Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” (gender, tolerance) F
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (civil rights)

W. H. AUDEN (bio)

“Night Mail” (varied meter)
“Edward Lear” (obituary)

JOHN KENDRICK BANGS (bio)

“Little Elf” (hidden folk)
“The Little Elf Man” (hidden folk)

HILLAIRE BELLOC (bio)

“The Early Morning”
“The Frog” (epigram, animals, personification)
“The Vulture”
“The Bison” (epigram, animals, humor)
“Matilda” (humor)
“The Elephant” (quatrain)

E.C. BENTLEY (bio)

“Edgar Allen Poe” (clerihew)

WILLIAM BLAKE (bio)

“Little Lamb” (couplet, consonance)
“Three Things to Remember”
“The Chimney Sweep”
“The Clod and the Pebble”
“Laughing Song”

JORGE LOUIS BORGES (bio)

“The Moon” (imagery)
“To A Cat”

ANNA HEMPSTEAD BRANCH

“The Ballad of Piping Will” (ballad) P

CHARLOTTE BRONTE (bio)

“Winter Stores”

EMILY BRONTE (bio)

“No Coward Soul is Mine”
“Love and Friendship”

RUPERT BROOKE (bio)

“Seaside”
“The Wayfarers”
“Mary and Gabriel”

GWNEDOLYN BROOKS (bio)

“We Real Cool” (assonance, consonance)*

ABBIE FARWELL BROWN

Ballad of the Little Page (ballad) P

JANE EUPHEMIA BROWN (bio)

“The Rooks”

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (bio)

“How Do I Love Thee?” (sonnet)
“Sonnet 43” (sonnet)

ROBERT BROWNING (bio)

“Pippa’s Song”
“The Pied Piper of Hamelin” (narrative, legend)
“Amphibian” (rhyming stanzas)
“Misconceptions”
“My Star”
“Through the Metidja to Abd-El-Kadr”

ROBERT BURNS (bio)

“A Red, Red Rose” (ballad)

YOSA BUSON (bio)

“Spring rain” (haiku)
“Kite” (haiku)
“Mushroom hunting” (haiku)
“Summer rain” (haiku)

BLISS CARMAN (bio)

“A Vagabond Song”

LEWIS CARROLL (bio)

“The Crocodile” (nonsense verse)
“Jabberwocky” (nonsense verse, narrative, cacaphony)
“Humpty Dumpty’s Song” (song, nursery rhyme)
“Rules and Regulations” (wordplay, cacaphony) F
“Beautiful Soup” (ode, sounds)
“The White Knight’s Song” (narrative, nonsense verse)
“You Are Old, Father William” (humor)
“Bessie’s Song to Her Doll”
“Life Is But A Dream” (song)
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat” (humor, nursery rhyme)
“A Sea Dirge” (dirge, wordplay)
“The White Knight’s Song” (narrative, nonsense verse)
“The Walrus and the Carpenter” (narrative, nonsense verse)
“The White Queen’s Song” (riddle) F
“The White Rabbit’s Evidence” (nonsense verse)*
“A Boat, Beneath A Sunny Sky” (acrostic)
“Speak Roughly to Your Little Boy” (song, refrain)
Four Riddles” (riddle)
The Hunting of the Snark (ballad)
“The Lion and the Unicorn” (nursery rhyme)

ALICE CARY

“Nobility”

PAUL CELAN

“O little root of a dream”F

JOHN CIARDI

“Summer Song” (song)
“The Happy Family” (nonsense verse, humor, family)

JOHN CLARE

“Little Trotty Wagtail”
“Autumn”

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

“A Child’s Evening Prayer” (reverence, prayer)
“Answer to a Child’s Question”
“Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” (narrative)
“Epigram” (epigram) F
“What Is An Epigram?” (epigram) F

SARA COLERIDGE

“The Months” (months)
“Trees”

HILDA CONKLING

“Autumn Song”

GEORGE COOPER

“Only One Mother”

JAMES D. CARROTHERS

“Dream and the Song” (civil rights)
“In the Matter of Two Men” (civil rights)

JOSEPH S. COTTER JR.

“Rain Music”
“Supplication”

NOEL COWARD

“Nothing Is Lost” (audio)

JOHN CRAVEN

“The Tanka Psalter” (tanka)

ROBERT CREELEY

“America” (ode)

EE CUMMINGS

“maggie and milly and molly and may” (alliteration)
“little tree” (Christmas, free verse)
“hist whist” (hidden folk, free verse)

WALTER DE LA MARE

“Summer Evening”
“Sleep”
“Hide and Seek”
“Some One”
“The Listeners” (ballad)

C. J. DENNIS

“The Dawn Dance”
“You and I”

BEATRICE SCHENK DE REGNIERS

“Keep A Poem in Your Pocket” F

CHARLES DICKENS

“A Child’s Hymn” (hymn)

EMILY DICKINSON

“If I could stop one heart from breaking…” (compassion)
“How happy is the little stone…” (personification, nature)
“Hope is the thing with feathers…” (metaphor)
“Because I could not stop for death…” (personification)
“Snowflakes” (imagery)
“Success is counted sweetest…” (common measure, humor)
“God gave a loaf to every bird…”
“Autumn”

ISAAK DINESEN

“Zebra” (imagery)

MARY MAPES DODGE

“Early to bed…” (nursery rhyme)
“The moon came late…” (nursery rhyme)

HILDA DOOLITTLE (H.D.)

“Pear Tree” (imagery, imagist)
“Heat” (imagery, imagist)
“Sea Poppies” (imagery, imagist)

PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR (bio)

“The Cornstalk Fiddle” (hidden folk)

GEORGE ELIOT

“Count That Day Lost”

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

“Fable”
“The Mountain and the Squirrel”
“Give All to Love”
“Parks and Ponds” (aphorism)

J. G. FRANCIS

“A lion emerged from his lair”
“A Sea Change”
“An elephant sat on some kegs”
“Maternal Counsel”
“The Genial Grimalkin” (nonsense verse)

EUGENE FIELD

“The Dinkey Bird” (nonsense verse, humor)
“Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” (nonsense verse, lullaby)
“Pittypat and Tippytoe” (nonsense verse)

RACHEL FIELD

“Something Told the Wild Geese”
“Barefoot Days” (refrain)

MICHAEL FLANDERS

“The Sloth” (nonsense verse)

ROBERT FROST

“The Pasture” (refrain)
“The Road Not Taken” (pastoral, rhymed stanza)
“Fireflies in the Garden” (epigram)
“The Oven Bird” (sonnet)
“Design” (sonnet)
“Stopping By the Woods On A Snowy Evening” (chain link rhyme)

JIMMY GARTHWAITE (bio)

“Engineers” (imagery)

KRISTINE O’CONNELL GEORGE

“Flannel Shirt” (imagery)

NIKKI GIOVANNI

“The Reason I Like Chocolate” (colors, free verse)
“Poem For a Lady Whose Voice I Like” (civil rights, free verse)

JANE BRANSFIELD GRAHAM

“Is There a Villain in Your Villanelle?” (villainelle)

EDGAR GUEST

“Good Books”
“See It Through” (ballad)
“It Couldn’t Be Done” (common meter)
“If This Were All”
“A Friend”
“Myself”
“You”
“Influence”
“Thoughtlessness”
“True Nobility”
“Things That Haven’t Been Done Before” (didactic) F
“Can’t” (didactic)
“When Sorrow Comes”
“Being Brave at Night”
“Only A Dad” (couplet)

CAROLYN HALL

“Fireflies”

SEAMUS HEANEY

“Digging”

GEORGE HERBERT

“Colossians 3:3″(interesting construction) P + F
“Even-song”P
“The Elixir”

OLIVER HERFORD

“The Elf and the Dormouse” (hidden folk)

ROBERT HERRICK

“Upon the Swallow”
“God to Be First Served”
“Humility”

JOHN HOLLANDER (bio)

“Swan Song” (shape poem, concrete)
“Historical Reflections” (double dactyl)

THOMAS HOOD

“Song” (hidden folk)
“Queen Mab” (hidden folk)

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS

“Split”
Bedtime”
“Good Books, Good Times(rhyme)

DAN HOWELL

“Piano”

LANGSTON HUGHES

“April Rain Song” (song)
“Harlem Night Song” (song)
“I, Too” (free verse, civil rights)
“Dream Variations”
“In Time of Silver Rain”
“Alabama Earth” (Alabama)
“Who But the Lord?” (civil rights)

TED HUGHES

“Roger the Dog”

VICTOR HUGO (bio)

“The Genesis of Butterflies”
“Be Like the Bird”

LOUISE JENKINS (bio)

“Too Much Snow” (audio)

ALEXANDER JENNY (bio)

“Creatures of Habits”
“The Untied Shoelace”
“Dudley the Dreamer”

FENTON JOHNSON (bio)

“The Banjo Player”

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON

“O Southland!”

BOBBI KATZ

“Paper Dreams”

“October”

“Travel Plans”

MAUDE KEARY

“The Alphabet”
“To Emily at Her Own Home, From the Cat”
“Some Other Child”
“Responsibility”
“Stand Still and Watch”
“Fairyland”(hidden folk)
“Twilight”

JOHN KEATS (bio)

“On the Grasshopper and the Cricket” (sonnet) P

RUDYARD KIPLING

“If”P

THOMAS KEN

“An Evening Hymn”

BRUCE LANSKY

“My Violin” (common measure)

W.T. LARNED

“The Grasshopper and the Ant” (fable)

EDWARD LEAR

“The Owl and the Pussycat” (nonsense verse)
“The Jumblies” (nonsense verse)
“The Quangle Wangle’s Hat” (nonsense verse, alliteration)
“Calico Pie” (nonsense verse)
“Nonsense Botany” (nonsense verse)
101 Nonsense Pictures and Rhymes (nonsense verse)
26 Nonsense Pictures and Rhymes (nonsense verse)
Nonsense Alphabet (nonsense verse, abecedarius) F
The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear read aloud by Mary Ann Hoberman (video)

DAN LECHAY

“Ghost Villanelle” (villanelle)

FRANCIS LEDWIDGE

“A Fairy Hunt” (hidden folk)
“The Shadow People” (hidden folk)

MAJOR HENRY LIVINGSTON JR.

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” (narrative)

ARNOLD LOBEL

“There was an old woman of long ago” – limerick, nonsense verse

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

“The Rainy Day”
“The Arrow and the Song”
“A Psalm of Life” (psalm)
“Paul Revere’s Ride” (narrative, legend)
“The Childhood of Hiawatha” (narrative, legend)
“There Was A Little Girl” (limerick)

SAMUEL LONGFELLOW

“Go Forth to Life”

AMY LOWELL

“Sea Shell”
“Autumn” (imagist, colors)
“The Garden by Moonlight” (imagist, imagery)

GEORGE MACDONALD

“Better Things”P + F
“Come Down”(prayer) P+F
“Come to Me”(prayer) P
“Where Did You Come From, Baby Dear?”

KATHERINE MANSFIELD

“Fairy Tale” (narrative)

GEORGE REGINALD MARGETSON

“Stanzas From the Fledgling Bard and Poetry Society”

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE

“The Passionate Shepard to His Love” (pastoral)

GEORGE MARION MCLELLAND

“The Feet of Judas”

JOHN MASEFIELD

“The Seekers”
“The Wanderer”
“A Creed”

IRENE MCLEOD

“Lone Dog”

HERMAN MELVILLE

“Shiloh” (requiem) P

MAX MENDELSON

“Ode to Marbles” (ode, alliteration)

THOMAS JAMES MERTON

“A Dirge” (dirge)

W.S. MERWIN

“To Luck” (epistle)

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

“Afternoon On a Hill”

A. A. MILNE

“Happiness”
“Halfway Down”
“Forgotten” (refrain)
“The Knight Whose Armor Didn’t Squeak”
“From A Full Heart” (peacemaking)

CHRISTOPHER MORLEY

“The Plumpuppets”

HILDA MORRIS

“November”

HOWARD MOSS

“Painting A Wave” (rhymed stanza, ekphrasis)

OGDEN NASH

“The People Upstairs” (humor, nonsense verse)
“The Octopus” (nonsense verse)
“The Common Cold” (wordplay, humor)
“Ode to a Baby” (ode, nonsense verse)
“The Tale of Custard the Dragon” (narrative, humor)
“The Termite”
“Further Reflections on Parlsey” (wordplay, humor)
“The Mole”
“Portrait of the Artist As a Prematurely Old Man” (nonsense verse, satire)

PABLO NERUDA

“Ode to A Pair of Socks” (imagery, ode)
“Poetry”
“Monsoon”
“Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market” (ode)

KEN NESBITT

“When Pigs Fly” (humor, wordplay)
“The Dancing Baboon of Djibouti” (humor, wordplay)
“Ode On a Unicycle” (ode)
“Perfect” (common measure)

ALFRED NOYES (bio)

“Daddy Fell Into the Pond”

JOHN BOYLE O’REILLY

“What Is Good”

SEAMUS O’SULLIVAN (bio)

“The Ballad of the Fiddler” (ballad)

DOROTHY PARKER (bio)

“Inventory”

OCATAVIO PAZ (bio)

“The Street”

EDGAR ALLEN POE (bio)

“A Dream Within a Dream”
“Eldorado” (narrative, legend)
“Annabel Lee” (narrative, ballad)
“Eulalie”
“Poetry”
“The Raven” (narrative, rhymed stanza)

JACK PRELUTSKY (bio)

“Louder Than A Clap of Thunder” (humor)
“I Wish My Father Wouldn’t Try to Fix Things Anymore” (humor)
“Be Glad Your Nose Is On Your Face”
“Today Is Very Boring” (satire)*
“Never Mince Words With A Shark” (wordplay)
“Squirrels” (humor)
“The Disputatious Deeble” (alliteration, nonsense verse)
“I Lost My Invisible Puppy” (satire)

SIR WALTER RALEIGH (bio)

“The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” (hidden folk)

WILLIAM BRIGHTY RANDS (bio)

“Topsey Turvey World” (ecology)

LIZETTE WOODWORTH REESE (bio)

“A Little Song of Life”

HUGH RHODES (bio)

“Rising in the Morning”

RAINER MARIA RILKE (bio)

“Thanksgiving”
“We must not portray you in king’s robes” (reverence)

CHRISTINA ROSSETTI (bio)

“Hurt No Living Thing”
“Consider the lilies of the field”
“Who Has Seen the Wind?” (rhymed stanza)
“The Rainbow” (reverence)
“What Is Pink?” (colors, imagery)
“The Wind”
“Boats Sail on the Rivers”

SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI (bio)

“Prayer of Peace”(peacemaking, prayer) F
“Canticle of Brother Son” (reverence, canticle, prayer, song) F

CARL SANDBURG (bio)

“Buffalo Dusk” (imagery)
“The Hammer” (assonance)
“Prayers After World War” (prayer, peacemaking)
“The Poor”
“Our Prayer of Thanks” (prayer)
“Theme In Yellow” (colors, free verse)
“Little Girl, Be Careful What You Say”
“Dunes” (peacemaking)
“Smoke” (imagery, peacemaking)
“Wars” (peacemaking)
“Bringers” (death)
“Early Moon” (imagery)
“Window” (imagery)
“Fog” (imagery)
“Broken Sonnet” (sonnet)

MARGARET E. SANGSTER (bio)

“The Sin of Omission” (didactic)

ALICE SCHERTLE (bio)

“A Silver Trapeze” (imagery, roundel)
“Triolets That Trouble My Sleep” (triolet)

ROBERT SERVICE (bio)

“The Wonderer”F

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (bio)

“Sonnet 18” (Shakespearean sonnet)
“Song of the Fairy”P

ROY SCHEELE (bio)

“Planting A Dogwood” (syllabic meter)

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (bio)

“Ode to the West Wind” (ode, terza rima)

SHEL SILVERSTEIN (bio)

“Messy Room” (humor)
“The Voice” (conscience)
“Hug O’ War” (peacemaking)
“Poet’s Tree”
“What If?” (humor)
“Where the Sidewalk Ends”
“One Inch Tall” (math skills, humor)
“Cloony the Clown”
“The Invisible Boy”
“The Unicorn” (hidden folk, narrative) F
“Warning”
“Tree House” F
“The Land of Happy” F
“Lester” (narrative, humor)
“Jimmy Jet and His TV Set” (didactic)
“Rain”

MARILYN SINGER (bio)

“In the Museum” (triolet)

CHRISTOPHER SMART

“A Morning Hymn” (song)

WILLIAM JAY SMITH (bio)

Laughing Time read aloud by Maryanne Holberman (video)

GARY SOTO

“Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes” (ode)

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

“Fairy Bread” (hidden folk)
“The Land of Nod”
“The Land of Counterpane”
“Young Night-Thought”
“The Swing”
“Autumn Fires”
“Happy Thought”
“Singing”
“The Unseen Playmate”
“A Good Boy”
“Looking Forward”
“My Shadow”
“Time to Rise”
“Block City”
“Windy Nights”
“Escape at Bedtime”
“Underwoods” (epigram)

ANTHONY STEWART

“The Legend of the Panda”

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

“Eliza Crossing the River”

MARGARET P. SUTPHEN

“Autumn Leaves”

RABINDRATH TAGORE

“Beggarly Heart”
“Clouds and Waves”
“Playthings”
“The Beginning”

ANN TAYLOR

“My Mother” – family

JANE TAYLOR

“The Star” (couplet, nursery rhyme)
“Poverty” – (rhymed stanza)

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON

“The Eagle”

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY

“Fairy Dance”P

DYLAN THOMAS

“Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night” (villanelle)
“The Fern” (pastoral)

JRR TOLKIEN (bio)

“Goblin Feet” (hidden folk)
“The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon”

RIDGELY TORRANCE (bio)

“An Invitation”

IVAN TURGENEV (bio)

“Dog”

HENRY VAN DYKE

“A Home Song” (song)

ISAAC WATTS (bio)

“Our Savior’s Golden Rule” (didactic)
“Let Dogs Delight”

JOHN GREENLIEF WHITTIER (bio)

“The Pumpkin” (syllabic meter)

RICHARD WILBUR (bio)

“Some Opposites”
“Parable”

OSCAR WILDE (bio)

“Symphony in Yellow”

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS (bio)

“Winter Trees”
“The Red Wheelbarrow” (colors, imagery)
“Summer Song” (song)
“The Locust Tree In Flower” (imagery)

THEODORE C. WILLIAMS

“A Famous Case” (fable) P

MARJORIE WILSON (bio)

“The Tide”

WILLIAM WORDWORTH (bio)

“The Daffodils” (imagery)

VALERIE WORTH (bio)

“Flies”

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS (bio)

“Memory”
“The Lake of Innisfree”
“When You Are Old”
“Sailing to Byzantium” (ottava rima)