love poems…sandburg and cummings bring valentine’s love to children

Today — a couple of fabulous love poems packaged superbly for children and all the rest of us.

not everyday an aurora borealis for your birthday cover imageNot Everyday an Aurora Borealis for Your Birthday: A Love Poem by Carl Sandburg, pictures by Anita Lobel
published in 1998 by Alfred A. Knopf

Is that not an epic title for a poem!?!

It is because I love you I give you for a birthday present the aurora borealis.
It was a long trip I took carrying the aurora borealis to you.

It’s a slippery and confounding thing to get hold of.

But when it rests, shimmering, on his love’s doorstep — ah, it is worth all the struggle.

not everyday an aurora borealis for your birthday illustration2 anita lobel

And he’ll fetch another, if that’s what she wishes. Or even a rainbow. Because he is up for the challenge…because he loves her so.

Sandburg’s everyman, cram-it-all-in, ambling phrases surprise us with “swimmering lights” and warm us with love. Anita Lobel’s watercolors slicker with melty-sherbet-colored tongues of fire and an old-fashioned pair of sweethearts.

This gem is out of print but it felt like I struck gold when I found it in my library. Search for it — for ages 3 to adult.

i carry your heart with me cover imagei carry your heart with me, by e.e. cummings, illustrated by Mati McDonough
published in 2014 by Cameron & Company

i carry your heart with  me(i carry it in my heart)

says e.e. cummings. 

That is why these two are never really apart.

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

The love cummings praises is the root and the bud, the in and the out, the ever and always of the lover’s world. Its enormousness is really beyond language.

i carry your heart with me cummings and mcdonough

Mati McDonough has illustrated this as the love between a mother and child. Her mixed media designs are childlike and cheerful, with a somewhere-else sort of charm that echoes cumming’s style.

A sweet way to share this poem with little ones ages 4 and up.