5 Poems to Read Aloud for All Ages
Besides being the cruelest month (according to T.S. Eliot), April is National Poetry month! What better way to celebrate than by sharing poetry with your friends and family. No matter whether they love poetry or not, these poems possess catchy meters and fantastic rhyme schemes, making them perfect for reading aloud to any audience. You may be familiar with some of these, but I hope that most of the poems will become new additions to your repertoire.
- “Casey at the Bat”
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day: / The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
Whether you're a baseball fan or not, Ernest Lawrence Thayer's Casey at the Bat is a fantastic poem about America's favorite pastime from 1888 . This piece is sure to give you a serious case of spring fever as you root for Casey and his team. Try reading it in your best sports announcer voice!
- “The Bells”
Hear the sledges with the bells, / Silver bells! / What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe invented a word specifically for this poem? “Tintinnabulation” meaning “the sound of bells,” almost sounds like bells when you say the word out loud. There are many other examples of onomatopoeia in this piece. Their presence along with multiple alliterations, make "The Bells" a perfect poem to read aloud. Go on, read it. I dare you not to have fun.
- “anyone lived in a pretty how town”
anyone lived in a pretty how town / (with up so floating many bells down).
While you might not be able to decipher exactly what e. e. cummings is trying to say in this poem, its beautiful imagery and simple rhyme scheme make it stand out from the rest of his works. Try reading it slowly, letting the abstract images form fully in your mind.
- “The Land of Counterpane”
When I was sick and lay a-bed, / I had two pillows at my head, / and all my toys beside me lay, / to keep me happy all the day.
This poem is part of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson anthology A Child's Garden of Verses. It tells the story of a young boy using his imagination to play while sick in bed. The incredibly catchy iambic tetrameter and rhyming couplet form, might cause this one to get stuck in your head. You also may find yourself clapping along to the beat.
- “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too”
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too / went for a ride in a flying shoe. / 'Hooray!' / 'What fun!' / 'It's time we flew!'
You're probably familiar with most of Shel Silverstein's poetry for children. You may even know about his work for adults. This particular piece, featured in Where the Sidewalk Ends, is one of his less well known children's poems. With its nonsensical story and silly characters, this verse will inevitably make you laugh out loud as you read.