When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six #Poetry #AAMilne #BookReview

When We Were Very Young

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of
Sand-between-the-toes.

– Excerpt from the poem, Sand-Between-The-Toes by A.A. Milne

Besides creating the world of the Hundred Acre Wood for Christopher Robin inhabited by Pooh and Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo, A.A. Milne also published two books of poetry, “When We Were Very Young,” and “Now We Are Six.”

The poetry is full of rhyming verse with nonsensical happenings. The lighthearted poems highlights Milne’s extraordinary imagination. On a winding road trip through the mountains, my children and I were entertained by the lovely flow and meter his children’s poems possessed.

The verses above were from one of my favorite poems of both collections entitled “Sand-Between-The-Toes.”

“When We Were Very Young” was published two years prior to “Winnie-the-Pooh,” in 1924. “Now We Are Six” was published three years later, and a year before “The House at Pooh Corner,” in 1927.

Listening to the poems performed by Peter Dennis, I was reminded of listening to the poems of Shel Silverstein read to me as a young boy.

Reading poetry to children is a very important thing to me. I think, as a father first, and also as a poet, it is very important to read children all types of writing. Poetry, prose, short stories, graphic novels, all spark a child’s imagination in different ways. Each type of creative work connects to children in different ways. I believe the more exposure a child has to a multitude of creative mediums and sources, the better chance she or he has of growing in their own creativity and imagination.

I believe it will benefit the child more and more as they grow up and look to find ways of connecting with the world around them and begin to make sense of every experience.

Milne’s stimulating collections of children’s poetry adds to a long list of poetry dedicated to the children in the poet’s life, hoping to communicate something new and inform their minds in a new way through playful, sing-song verse.

– Jason

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