Hilltown Families


I’m Grateful for…The Bed Book If you’re familiar with Sylvia Plath’s work you might be surprised to see a poem of hers here. But in addition to her darkly brilliant work she also wrote a book for her children, The Bed Book, that’s bright and whimsical. This book, which also has wonderful illustrations, is out of print, but used copies are still available. I encourage you to seek it out and read… Read More

Amy Dryansky shares two not-so-spooky poems for Halloween in her column, “One Clover & A Bee” Poems for Families to Learn & Love.” Many of the poems she looked at when deciding which ones to feature explored that space where spooky crosses over to scary, but these two found that sweet spot where we might get goose bumps, , but know we can always turn the lights on…

The Sound of One Leaf Falling Some poems are clearly meant to be read aloud: sound is the engine that moves them off the page and into our consciousness. Other poems rely more on image, making pictures that resonate in our mind’s eye. Some poems try to do both, using structural elements like line breaks, punctuation and white space to guide the reader through the poem, encouraging us to move slowly, linger… Read More

Whisper and Shout Whisper and Shout: Poems to Memorize, edited by Patricia Vecchione, was given to my daughter on her 10th birthday. It’s a book that she’s dog-eared and written in freely, habits I generally discourage. In this case, however, I have to admit it’s wonderful to look back at what she’s written about the poems over the years—the notes and tiny drawings in different colored inks are a special document of… Read More

Sing a Song of Popcorn When I polled my kids for their all-time favorite book of poems from when they were little they singled out Sing A Song Of Popcorn: Every Child’s Book Of Poems. I can totally see why: not only does it have a great mix of poetry styles, subjects and forms, it also features wonderful illustrations by several artists, including Caldecott medalists Maurice Sendak!, Arnold Lobel, and Leo and… Read More

A Poem to (Possibly) Sleep On Sleep figures large in the life of a parent. For some of us it’s a tantalizing mirage, always just out of reach—it was for me, anyway. My daughter had colic for her first six months in the world, and cried for hours on end while my partner and I walked and rocked and massaged and drove her up and down the highway. It didn’t really help,… Read More

Is Poetry On Your Playlist? Many of us think of poetry with a capital P—meaning, Poetry lives in a castle high on a hill surrounded by a deep moat and a drawbridge. Beautiful from a distance, probably beautiful inside, but a little scary and, unless you know the owners, pretty inaccessible. Or we think of poetry as a kind of moral or educational hygiene, like flossing—we know we should do it, but… Read More

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