In the history of western children’s literature, after Pilgrim’s Progress came Isaac Watt’s elegies for children, Divine Songs. But while Pilgrim’s Progress was actually intended for adults and children learned from it, Divine Songs was intended to be for children. And while Pilgrim’s Progress actually does have some relevance for Christians today (even given how bored I felt while reading it), Divine Songs are even more painfully instructive than Pilgrim’s Progress was. In fact, I don’t want my son to ever read these as a child. (more…)
My son is musical. As a newborn, his body would instantly start to relax if I started to sing to him. Now, at 13 months old, he doesn’t calm so easily. But if he hears music, he dances. He laughs when he hears any rhythm. His favorite toys make music. He likes to touch the piano keys.
But I didn’t know any lullabies. For months, I sang him Sunday school songs and hymns, because those are the songs I know by memory. They were good, don’t get me wrong. But I also found myself making up songs as I changed him or made him lunch or helped him clean up his toys. They weren’t so good.
What about lullabies? What are they? How does one learn them?
I did what any reader would do: I searched the library. Here are two great books I found. (more…)
Why is autumn always, poetically, so sad? It’s a good season in it’s own right. Yet, the poetry always dwells on the “growing older” analogy. Here’s some Shakespeare. (more…)
I really like the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. It is an inspiration for all of us to be mature. It’s especially timely for me right now because I’m currently listening to the nonfiction audiobook Emotional Intelligence (by Daniel Goleman). More about that later… (more…)
I found Poems Every Child Should Know, which was edited by Mary E. Burt and published in 1904, on the Project Gutenberg site. I was looking for poems by Rudyard Kipling, but I decided to look at all of this, as I have a child and want him to know what he “should” know.
I’ve only skimmed it, and I love it so far. I did come across a (more) complete “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I didn’t know the rest of it. Reading it is different, because it obviously doesn’t follow the familiar song. (more…)