Friday, April 14, 2017

National Poetry Month: Dr. Seuss, In a People House

Nursery rhymes may be the first examples of poetry that we are exposed to as children. Many of the classic nursery rhymes were written in the nineteenth century and earlier. While these rhymes have intrinsic value, they are generally things that children born centuries after they were written cannot relate to.

When I was a little boy my mom received a mailing from the Dr. Seuss Book Club. I had heard of Dr. Seuss, but had never read anything by him. I was about four, so I probably hadn't read much at that point, aside from comic books, MAD Magazine, the newspaper funnies, and the solutions to the daily crossword, which I assumed was a game of "find the things that are words." The illustrations in the flyer excited me, and I begged my mom to sign us up for the club - not just for me, of course, but for my older sister and little brother, too.

"In a People House" was one of the books included in the introductory package, and I fell in love with it. I remember it as a fun book with fun illustrations. Recently I came across a version of the story set to music, and realized that the story was also an excellent introduction to poetry.

It's great to experience this story in a new way, and realize the effect it had on my life. How about you? What was your earliest introduction to poetry?

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