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As promised last week, this Saturday brings us to another spotlight on a somewhat lengthy poem worth taking the time to read and enjoy. Last week I mentioned on of my favorite Arthurian poems, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and I hope you get a chance to read that poem if you haven’t yet. This week I’m looking at a much shorter poem, although still lengthy enough to be considered in its own spotlight: “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti.

This is a fun poem. There is a lot of enjoyable repetition, lists of fruits and other sweets, and sounds that are simply fun to say aloud. It is the sort of poem that is pleasant to the ear which makes it pleasurable to read and certainly could be a great poem to read with children.

The images that come to mind as you read through the poem are vivid. As a for instance, can you picture the assortment of goblins and what they are doing in this segment:

Laugh’d every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes,—

To read more of “Goblin Market”, click this link. Did you enjoy the sounds and repetitions? Would you read this poem to your children? If you did so, feel free to share how they enjoyed the poem!

For the shorter poem of the week, I am sharing one of my favorites. It is also the perfect children’s poem due to its nonsensical words that force the reader to use their imaginations to picture the descriptions and events as they transpire. It was written by one of the contemporary writers of Rossetti’s time, although he is best known for his two books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Lewis Carroll’s poem, “Jabberwocky“, is a fun read. Short and sweet, it invokes something different to everyone who reads it. It has to. How many JubJub birds have you seen? Bandersnatches? What about borogoves, much less ones that are mimsy? That is the beauty of this poem: it forces you to come up with these images for the words. If he went on to define or describe them, the poem would lose some of that uniqueness. As a fantasy writer, I find myself wanting to embrace the weird like Carroll did in this poem.

What are some of the images this poem invokes for you as you read it? Is there a line, or a stanza, that stands out more than the others as you read it?