Lisa Wheeler Waxes Poetic: Mother Goose

The funny and fabulously talented Lisa Wheeler is today's guest poetry poster! Why not check out (and LIKE) Lisa's Facebook Page?
Mother Goose was my very first introduction to poetry. Equally attracted to both the metered rhyme and colorful artwork, I embraced the poems wholeheartedly.
I still do. I’ve been collecting Mother Goose books for nearly two decades.
Though most of these bouncy rhymes were not originally intended for children, I find they hold an appeal for readers of all ages.  For oldsters, they bring back fond memories. For young children, they hold a newfound delight in the rhythm and rhyme.
I often tell wannabe rhymers to study Mary Had A Little Lamb for an example of perfect meter. I recall my daughter’s preschool teacher walking around the story circle and gently patting out the beats on the children’s shoulders as they recited Mother Goose. She explained that a sense of rhythm in words is an important pre-reading skill.
As a poet and children’s book lover, I’ve always been intrigued by the parodies of Mother Goose in my collection. I wanted to do my own parody and that is how Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children was born.  The premise being that Mother Goose is far too kind to ever punish the naughty children in Mother Gooseland. So she sends them to her sister, Spinster Goose, who runs a school for these horrid little urchins.
It is my hope that we keep Mother Goose alive for future generations of children and I implore poets, teachers, librarians, and parents to share these old favorites with the child in their lives.
In the meantime, try taking one of Mother Goose’s rhymes and twist into your own new creation—have fun!
Poets be nimble
Poems be quick
Verse-atile pun
Tongue-twister trick
Measured out meter
Cadence so slick
Poems be nimble
Poets be quick!

Recent Comments

  • Janet F.
    April 24, 2012 - 12:33 pm · Reply

    I so agree about Mother Goose and the nursery rhymes. My mother had me reciting them from memory by the time I was 20 months old. I think my early reading and interest in words comes from that time, though I obviously don’t remember any of it!! But I can still recite those rhymes. However, it was my mother’s teacher (luckily she was in her class from 5th – 8th grade) fostered a strong interest in poetry in her students. I think that knowing the nursery rhymes can help a child learn to read. It involves prediction and then the aha! OH that is what “that” word looks like. Then you start to connect the similar words like Jill and Hill etc. to see that there are word families and predictability in many words, though, not all. I really think parents need to read poetry to their babies and little ones more!! And encourage them to learn some by heart naturally, not in any forced way.
    Love your poem! Thanks for this post. I wish it was poetry moth every month.

  • Penny Klostermann
    April 25, 2012 - 8:00 am · Reply

    I LOVE Lisa Wheeler! What a talent you are! I completely agree about Mother Goose rhymes. Spinster Goose sounds adorable. I have it on my list. Thanks for the poem…perfect meter and rhythm!

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