Poetry Friday: The Whispering Room Haunted Poems

Friday, October 28th, 2011

My husband was in Wales recently for a conference and heard Welsh poet Gillian Clarke read there.  I knew I’d heard of Clarke; in fact, I found her on The Childrens Poetry Archive website where you can hear her read the poem Legend.  I was therefore happy to find at my local library a book of poems edited by Clarke that is very appropriate for Halloween. The Whispering Room Haunted Poems (illustrated by Justin Todd, Kingfisher, 1996) is a collection of poetry chosen by Clarke on the theme of  ‘haunting.’   As Clarke says in the preface, “Haunting is all about imagination, and the best imaginers are poets and children.”

My daughter and I committed ourselves to reading a poem or two each night out of this anthology (while finishing off The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson!) leading up to Halloween.  I find reading poetry with her helpful in teaching her about poetic language and concepts such as rhyme.   I let her pick out the poems she would like to try and then we have a go at them.  Flipping through the book together, I was quite struck by Justin Todd’s arresting illustrations, some of which drew me to certain poems.

What books are you reading to your child for Halloween?  Any good poetry titles?  Do share and spread the word!  Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Diane Mayr at Random Noodling.