What Children’s Poetry is For by J. Bottum is a four page PDF which discusses what poetry to use with children and what to avoid. It also tells you a great deal about some poems that I didn’t know. For example:
Similarly,when A.A.Milne,the early 20th-century author of Winnie-the-Pooh,writes:
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
a prosodist might tell us that Milne is nearly recreating, in a stressed English line, the rhythms of a quantitative Sapphic strophe straight out of Horace’s Latin Odes. There may be some interested in the fact that the rhythm technically runs — / – u u / – u u / – u u /– / – / /– / – u u / – u / – u u /-/-,just as there may be some interested in identifying the flaw in the ninth foot (“Mother”is one unstressed syllable s h o rt ) . But it’s awfully hard to imagine any child being interested, just as it’s hard to imagine any child who couldn’t immediately hear the rhythm in the poem without ever having heard of either Sappho or Horace.
Of course, I knew the part about the child being uninterested. It was that the rhythm was from Horace that I didn’t know.