Thursday, September 03, 2009

Poet of the Month

September's Featured Poet
X.J. Kennedy (1929-), who writes delightful poetry for children as well as adults, is the recipient of the PSA’s 2009 Robert Frost Metal for lifetime service to poetry, the 2004 Poet’s Prize (for The Lords of Misrule: Poems 1992-2002), and others too numerous to list in this space. He was educated at Seton Hall, Columbia, and the Sorbonne. He served four years in the Navy. He has taught English at U Michigan, UNC Greensboro, Tufts, and served as a visiting professor at Wellesley, U of C at Irvine, and the U of Leeds. Here are two examples of his poetry for children:

A Mammoth Surprise

Down the trunk of an elephant, Daredevil Jed
With incredible speed took a slide on his sled
At a time when that pachyderm, lunching on hay,
Was happily tucking a bundle away.
Off that doubled‑up nose‑hose, poor Jed shot the chutes‑‑‑
Blubbery brutes have such rubbery snoots.

A Needed Invention

For safety's sake, each jumbo jet
Should travel with a safety net
Suspended from its underbelly
Or racing on the ground below it
To break its fall or slightly slow it,
Sort of an upside‑down umbrelly

Further Reading:
Elefantina's Dream / verse by X.J. Kennedy ; pictures by Graham Percy.

Knock at a Star : a Child's Introduction to Poetry / [compiled by] X.J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy ; illustrated by Karen Ann Weinhaus.

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson, author of:
21st Century Bread (2007)
In Vitro : New Short Rhyming Poems Post-9/11 (2009)