Thursday, April 30, 2020

H is for Haiku and More: Let's Look at the Best in Poetry, Shall We?

In the new nonfiction book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, author Yuval Noah Harari writes, "Yet the truly unique feature of our language is not its ability to transmit information about men and lions. Rather, it’s the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist at all."

Poetry is the best gift we humans have been given. It has brought us out of the swamps, and it can help us get through this disaster and all the others we face.

It's Poetry Month.

Let's celebrate poetry, shall we?


It doesn't have to be these books, but all of these are a great place to start, if you don't know where to begin.

Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters and illustrated by Polly Dunbar

My Very First Mother Goose edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Marc Brown

Hand Rhymes collected and illustrated by Marc Brown

H is for Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg and illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi

Poetry for Young People: William Carlos Williams

Poetry Speaks to Children edited by Elise Paschen

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein


The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry edited by Ellmann and O'Clair

Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times edited by Noel Astley

Poetry 180 selected by Billy Collins


The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove

A Poem a Day edited by Karen McCosker and Nicholas Albery

Good Poems selected by Garrison Keillor

Americans' Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology 
edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz

Sailing Alone Around the World: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

What would you add to this list? Do you have other favorite books of poetry that I have missed? I'd love to hear your recommendations.


  1. Love William Carlos Williams. I gave away my copy of Good Poems, and am glad to say my son has kept it, and not given it away, lol.

  2. I don't read poetry now but one of my earliest bookish memories is buying a copy of A Child's Garden of Verses at my school book fair.

  3. I love the little mice in the Mother Goose book. How cute.

  4. Poetry books by blogger friends are my favorite. I had planned to have a celebration of poetry at the library some time in April, but...sigh!

  5. Billy Collins and Mary Oliver are so good! Some poetry books I like are:
    Ursula K. Le Guin: Sixty Odd
    Marge Piercy: What Are Big Girls Made Of
    Nikki Giovanni, ed: The 100 Best African American Poems
    and for younger readers, Kwame Alexander's Out of Wonder


Please share your thoughts.