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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 Poems by Karla

"Instead of building a fence of formality around poetry, I want to emphasize its accessibility, the sound, rhythm, humor, the inherent simplicity. Poetry can be as natural and effective a form of self-expression as singing or shouting" (Karla Kuskin, A JAR OF TINY STARS,  p. 78).


Have you ever been burned out on winter and the cold weather? All of the sudden, spring peeks at you, and you feel so happy you could do handstands!  Experience the joy in this poem.


I'm shouting

I'm singing

I'm swinging through trees

I'm winging sky-high

with the buzzing black bees.

I'm the sun

I'm the moon

I'm the dew on the rose.

I'm a rabbit

whose habit is twitching his nose.

I'm lively

I'm lovely

I'm kicking my heels.

I'm crying "Come dance"

to the freshwater eels.

I'm racing through meadows

without any coat

I'm a gamboling lamb

I'm a light leaping goat

I'm a bud

I'm a bloom

I'm a dove on the wing.

I'm running on rooftops

and welcoming spring!


Originally published in IN THE MIDDLE OF TREES, 1958. Taken from MOON, HAVE YOU MET MY MOTHER?, HarperCollins Publishers, 2003, p. 112.


Extension: a) Create props to go with this poem, such as a bee, a sun, a moon, a rabbit, an eel, a lamb, and so forth. You might ask students to draw and color these for you. Divide the class in two. Using the props, have the two groups alternate parts. Each part ends at a period, with the exception of goat.  Insert an imaginary period after goat. There should be eight parts. b) Invite students to create a group poem about how they feel when school is out for the summer.  Use this poem as a model. 








I went to college in upstate New York, and it could snow from November until April.  I bundled up with layers and layers of clothes. When I'd finally reach my class or the dining hall, I'd have to peel off some of my layers! Have you ever had to bundle up like the little boy or girl in this poem?


Winter Clothes


Under my hood I have a hat

And under that

My hair is flat.

Under my coat

My sweater's blue.

My sweater's red.

I'm wearing two.

My muffler muffles to my chin

And round my neck

And then tucks in.

My gloves were knitted

By my aunts.

I've mittens too

And pants

And pants

And boots

And shoes

With socks inside.

The boots are rubber, red and wide.

And when I walk

I must not fall

Because I can't get up at all.


From A JAR OF TINY STARS,  Bernice E. Cullinan, Editor, Boyds Mills Press, 1996, p. 22.


Extension: a) Ask students to draw the child and his/her clothes mentioned in this poem. b) Read picture books about winter and snow. Ask students to imagine what it would be like to live in a cold climate. How would their lives be different?  (Some readers will not need to imagine; this web site author lives in Dallas).