Catch A Little Rhyme – Poem by Eve Merriam
Once upon a time
I caught a little rhyme
I set it on the floor
but it ran right out the door
I chased it on my bicycle
but it melted to an icicle
I scooped it up in my hat
but it turned into a cat
I caught it by the tail
but it stretched into a whale
I followed it in a boat
but it changed into a goat
When I fed it tin and paper
it became a tall skyscraper
Then it grew into a kite
Counting-Out Rhyme – Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Silver bark of beech, and sallow
Bark of yellow birch and yellow
Twig of willow.
Stripe of green in moosewood maple,
Colour seen in leaf of apple,
Bark of popple.
Wood of popple pale as moonbeam,
Wood of oak for yoke and barn-beam,
Wood of hornbeam.
Silver bark of beech, and hollow
Stem of elder, tall and yellow
Twig of willow.
The Dark Girl’s Rhyme – Poem by Dorothy Parker
Who was there had seen us
Wouldn’t bid him run?
Heavy lay between us
All our sires had done.
There he was, a-springing
Of a pious race,
Setting hags a-swinging
In a market-place;
Sowing turnips over
Where the poppies lay;
Looking past the clover,
Adding up the hay;
Shouting through the Spring song,
Clumping down the sod;
Toadying, in sing-song,
To a crabbed god.
There I was, that came of
Folk of mud and name-
I that had my name of
Them without a name.
Up and down a mountain
Streeled my silly stock;
Passing by a fountain,
Wringing at a rock;
Throwing back their heads,
Fiddling for their dinners,
Kissing for their beds.
Not a one had seen us
Wouldn’t help him flee.
Angry ran between us
Blood of him and me.
How shall I be mating
Who have looked above-
Living for a hating,
Dying of a love?
Rhyme Against Living – Poem by Dorothy Parker
If wild my breast and sore my pride,
I bask in dreams of suicide;
If cool my heart and high my head,
I think, ‘How lucky are the dead! ‘
A Ballad Of Nursery Rhyme – Poem by Robert Graves
Strawberries that in gardens grow
Are plump and juicy fine,
But sweeter far as wise men know
Spring from the woodland vine.
No need for bowl or silver spoon,
Sugar or spice or cream,
Has the wild berry plucked in June
Beside the trickling stream.
One such to melt at the tongue’s root,
Confounding taste with scent,
Beats a full peck of garden fruit:
Which points my argument.
May sudden justice overtake
And snap the froward pen,
That old and palsied poets shake
Against the minds of men;
Blasphemers trusting to hold caught
In far-flung webs of ink
The utmost ends of human thought,
Till nothing’s left to think.
But may the gift of heavenly peace
And glory for all time
Keep the boy Tom who tending geese
First made the nursery rhyme.
By the brookside one August day,
Using the sun for clock,
Tom whiled the languid hours away
Beside his scattering flock,
Carving with a sharp pointed stone
On a broad slab of slate
The famous lives of Jumping Joan,
Dan Fox and Greedy Kate;
Rhyming of wolves and bears and birds,
Spain, Scotland, Babylon,
That sister Kate might learn the words
To tell to Toddling John.
But Kate, who could not stay content
To learn her lesson pat,
New beauty to the rough lines lent
By changing this or that;
And she herself set fresh things down
In corners of her slate,
Of lambs and lanes and London Town.
God’s blessing fall on Kate!
The baby loved the simple sound,
With jolly glee he shook,
And soon the lines grew smooth and round
Like pebbles in Tom’s brook,
From mouth to mouth told and retold
By children sprawled at ease
Before the fire in winter’s cold,
In June beneath tall trees;
Till though long lost are stone and slate,
Though the brook no more runs,
And dead long time are Tom, John, Kate,
Their sons and their sons’ sons;
Yet, as when Time with stealthy tread
Lays the rich garden waste,
The woodland berry ripe and red
Fails not in scent or taste,
So these same rhymes shall still be told
To children yet unborn,
While false philosophy growing old
Fades and is killed by scorn.