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Children's Poetry
Home | Poet Study: Karla Kuskin | Karla's Poems (two favorites) | More Poems by Karla | More Kuskin Poems | Even More Kuskin Poems | Kuskin Bibliography | Kuskin References (& more) | Poetry Breaks - Module 1 | Poetry Break # 1 | Poetry Break # 2 | Poetry Break # 3 | Poetry Breaks: #4, #5 | Module 2 | Poetry Break # 6 | Poetry Break # 7 | Poetry Break: #8 | Poetry Break # 9 | Poetry Break # 10 | Module 3 | Poetry Break # 11 | Poetry Break # 12 | Poetry Break # 13 | Poetry Break # 14 | Poetry Break # 15 | Module 4 | Poetry Break # 16 | Poetry Break # 17 | Poetry Break # 18 | Poetry Break # 19 | Poetry Break # 20 | Module 5 | Poetry Break # 21 | Poetry Break # 22 | Poetry Break # 23 | Poetry Break # 24 | Poetry Break # 25 | Module 6 | Poetry Break # 26 | Poetry Break # 27 | Poetry Break # 28 | Poetry Break # 29 | Poetry Break # 30 | Bibliography (1) | Bibliography (2)
More Kuskin Poems

I see pigeons almost every day but have never given them much thought. Does this poem capture your thoughts and feelings about pigeons?


Pigeons is a pretty word.


Pigeons are a funny bird.


Toeing out with silly care

shaped a little like a pear

inclined to cock small heads and stare

at where?



Pigeons do not skim the sky.

It seems they'd rather hop than fly

though no one knows exactly why.


Pigeons love a dusty crumb.

The fact is that

they're pretty dumb.



Originally published in THE SKY IS ALWAYS THE SKY, 1998. Taken from MOON, HAVE YOUR MET MY MOTHER?, HarperCollins, 2003, p. 35.


Extension: a) Take the class to observe a group of pigeons. Do students agree with this poem? What other observations about pigeons can children add? b.) This makes a good choral poem. One person can read the lines, and the group can recite the word Pigeons. It also might make a good song.  See if your students can pair the words with a familiar tune.










A new anthology of Karla's poetry

Black Cat

I am a cat-lover and my last name is Katz. I have two spoiled cats who

run my house. Of course, I could not resist these two poems.


Julia loves her Rosalie.

Rosalie the cat.

Julia pets her nosealie.

Soft, disdainful Rosalie.

Steps upon her toesalie

pulls her tail and


Julia has a scratch.


While Roalie guileless

and practically smileless

suns quietly, sly on her mat.



Cats take naps

from dawn to dawn.

They nap on anything they're on,

a pillow

antique chair

or lawn.

And when their need to nap is gone,

they stretch

and yawn

and look around for something else

it might be nice

to nap upon.


Both poems taken from MOON, HAVE YOU MET MY MOTHER?, HarperCollins, 2003, pp. 19 and 24.


Extension: a) Ask students to tell stories about their cats related to the poems. For example, one of my cats naps on the newspaper while I am reading it. b) Ask students to research cats and their habits, such as sleeping. Report back to the class. c) Read other poems with made-up words. One that comes to mind is  Hello, My Name is Dracula in LAUGH-ETERIA by Douglas Florian.