O is for Children’s Poets Eric Ode, Sally Odgers and Tommy Olofsson, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA
Eric Ode (pronounced Oh-dee) is a national award-winning children’s singer/songwriter, an author and widely published poet, and a thoroughly engaging entertainer. His performances include interactive music, stories, skits, poetry, props and puppets. A former elementary teacher of 12 years with a Masters Degree in Educational Technology, Eric has been invited to share his music and poetry programs with schools, community festivals, libraries, and churches all over the world. One of his latest books is Sea Star Wishes, Poems from the Coast, illustrated by Erik Brooks, available here in the UK and here in the US. Eric’s website is here.
This is one of Eric’s great poems!
I BUILT A FORT
I built a fort.
It needs a door.
I built a boat.
It needs an oar.
I built a shoe.
It needs a heel.
I built a car.
It needs a wheel.
I baked a cake.
It needs a plate.
I built a fence.
It needs a gate.
I wrote a poem.
It needs an end.
I built a fort.
It needs a friend.
© Eric Ode
Sally Odgers was born in Tasmania (a little island state of Australia just off the south of the Australian mainland) and still lives there, surrounded by dogs and books. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t love poetry. Her dad used to declaim long ballads such as How Horatio Held the Bridge, and one of her favourite books was a big anthology covered in wrapping paper with pictures of pansies. Sally wrote her first poem in sewing class when she was about eleven. She’s been writing them (and books and rhyming picture books) ever since. Sally loves playing with websites. One of them is here.
Here are a couple of poems from her most recent poetry book: Animals in Silhouette.
Shadow of Silence
If silence had a shadow
Its name would be cat
Black as midnight creeping softly padding paws and tail held lofty whiskers fingering
the air and silence-shadow slinking there
While cats shadow silence
Then shadows are cat
Silence shadow slinking there whiskers fingering the air padding paws and tails held
lofty black as midnight creeping softly
© Sally Odgers
Tommy Olofsson is an author and a literary critic as well as a Professor emeritus of Creative Writing. He made his debut as a poet in 1970 and has since published twelve collections of poetry, most recently Attack mot intigheten (2009). His poetry has been translated into a dozen languages and published in separate volumes in two languages, English and Polish. A selection of his poetry, Elemental Poems, was published 1991 in the U.S., translated by Jean E. Pearson.
Here is the first poem I read by him – it was first published in the book above, but I read it in This Same Sky, poems collected by Naomi Shihab Nye, one of my favourite books of poems from around the world for young people:
The Shadow Inside Me
Night has driven the shadow
into my own body. It’s an inward
robe that stretches its arms
and legs into my limbs, whispers
like silk along my spine,
turns darker and darker until it
finally comes off in me as the colour
of sleep, behind whose eyelids
two black flames are flickering
© Tommy Olofsson, Translated by Jean Pearson (First published in Elemental Poems, White Pine Press.)
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