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: 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.
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, 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.
Mati McDonough has illustrated this as the love between a mother and child. Her mixed media designs are childlike andcheerful, 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.