poetry friday :: oats + poems

before the baby came–13 months ago now!–we had quite the poetry rhythm going.  we called it Oats + Poems.  here’s the recipe:


boil up a pot of oats,
stir in brown sugar and milk,
add poems generously!

it made for a happy start to our mornings together spent learning.  alas, it has taken this long for us to settle back down to our daily ration of good words and warm porridge.  helping us along the way has been the fine folks at the Academy of American Poets.  in the past week or so, i’ve been reading through their notes for teaching poetry and sampling the poems for children that show up in the left-hand sidebar.  you can also start getting ready for Poetry Month by requesting a free poster!  my little lambs liked Mr. Blake’s lamb.

The Lamb by William Blake

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.


  1. Your poems and porridge ritual reminds me of Lissa at “Here in the Bonny Glen” talking about reading poems with her kids.

    That’s a sweet photo-illustration to go with the Blake!

  2. Blake is always an excellent pick! Porridge and poetry, meals and books — it all goes together here at our house, too!

  3. Lucky child to start with Blake! Maxine Kumin praised her fourth and fifth grade teachers for having her memorize poetry, but noted it began much earlier, with poems like these. And while I’m all for children whose love of poetry begins with Shel Silverstein, well, ah, Blake! … had a lovely moment with my grown daughter in London looking for an Indian restaurant and stopping and staring just before at one of those lovely blue plaques, noting Blake lived steps away.

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