Poetry on Earwigs (and Also Goats With Beaks)

My husband still teases me about my first poem, which has hitherto never been published.

There once was a goat
Who lived in a boat
He went to town every week,
And to all he would not speak.
But the funniest thing about him
Was that he had a beak.

By Megan E. VanderHart, age 8

(Taking a bow.)

I have always preferred composing unexpected endings.

Thankfully we have more talented young writers among our readers.

We received close to one hundred entries and enjoyed the challenge of deciding which ones to include in our next quarterly (the deadline to join the Golden Key Fellowship to receive your copy is Saturday the 21st). I’m delighted to see that so many families are reading poetry and experimenting with writing different forms! Who are your favorite authors? What are your favorite anthologies?

My earliest experience with poetry was Mother Goose and Childcraft volumes 1 and 2. When my boys were little I carried on the tradition of Mother Goose, but we have shared poetry from many sources including picture books by Russell Hoban and Bill Grossman, chapter books by A.A. Milne, Freddy the Pig, comic books like Calvin and Hobbes, and The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems.

Then we discovered I’m Just No Good at Rhyming. Still tops our list.

I’m almost finished reading A Child’s Anthology of Poetry edited by Elizabeth Hauge Sword and all of us can almost quote “Pachycephalosaurus” by Richard Armour from reading it so often. Next I think we’ll slowly work our way through Hiawatha and another illustrated collection.

I still write poetry, though I think it’s improved.

Some are longer narratives such as Something Better Coming and “Library Night Life” (hopefully a book someday!), but other times I play with something short like the following:

What purpose for the silverfish
And earwig? I’m not sure.
Until we know, the Lord
Has called us simply to endure.

For now, we’re living with them
In the midst of Adam’s curse.
Be thankful that they’re little though–
They could be so much worse!

By Megan E. (VanderHart) Saben, age 8 plus several decades and a few more years

Well, parents, any poets among you? Share a fun sample of your work in the comments!

(P.S. I’m very unimpressed with AI illustration; they failed my imagination. I know exactly what a goat with a beak sitting in a boat would look like, and none of the generators could produce any goats with beaks. I had to make my own improvement.)

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Megan Saben

Megan is Associate Editor for Redeemed Reader, and she loves nothing more than discovering Truth and Story in literature. She is the author of Something Better Coming, and is quite particular about which pottery mug is best suited to her favorite hot drinks throughout the day. Megan lives with her husband and five boys in Virginia.

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2 Comments

  1. Deni on January 18, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    Ha! I don’t remember my earliest attempts at poetry, but I still cringe and my husband still teases me about one early teen angst-ridden poem….let’s just say it included the lines “You crushed the fragile flower of my feelings/beneath the boots of your indifference” and leave it at that – shall we? (Though Boots of Indifference is a good contender for the Band Name game….)

    • Megan Saben on January 19, 2023 at 6:37 am

      I love it!! Thank you for being brave with me. 😊 And yes, Boots of Indifference is a GREAT band name.

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