Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Poetry For Young Readers - by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

(Last updated July 5, 2016)


 

I used to hate most poetry. I found it pretentious, didn't understand the fuss. I was also turned off when we studied poetry in English class. After spending what seemed like WEEKS dissecting a one-sentence poem about red wheelbarrows, just the word "poetry" made me want to run screaming out of the room. Then my librarian friend, Rand Bellavia, showed me some poems that I actually quite liked and even moved me. I started seeking out poetry. And after a while, I could even enjoy poems like the one about a red wheelbarrow (see the end of this page for some of my favourites). I try to read at least one poem a day, either from Poets.org, from one of Garrison Keillor's GOOD POEMS collections or The Writer's Almanac.

I also started writing poems. I try to write a poem every day for my private journal; most of these will remain private, written just for me.

BUT I've also had some poems published in print and online venues, and even been (*gasp*) paid for them. I've also enjoyed participating in community poetry events like Robert Lee Brewer's Poem-A-Day Challenge

I'll gradually be posting some of the poems I've written for young readers on this page as well as links to my free-print ready posters and worksheets. Also see Debbie's Print-Ready Archives For Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

POETRY FOR YOUNG READERS

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THE QUESTION

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

What if we both woke up one day
and found this was all a dream,
and that you were a marmot
and I was a flea.

Would you let me bite,
or would you scratch?

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SOME OF MY FAVOURITE POEMS

(I'll be gradually updating this over time)

HAPPY

Welcome Morning - by Anne Sexton. Love the joy.

HUMOR

Differences Of Opinion - by Wendy Cope.

MOVING

When Death Comes - by Mary Oliver. I want this read at my funeral (not that I plan to die anytime soon).

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RESOURCES FOR YOUNG POETS AND THEIR TEACHERS

Teacher's Lounge at Poets.ca: workshop ideas, poetry teaching links and other resources.

Poetry Archive's Links To Poetry Resources For Teaching and Learning

Resources for Teen Poets - on Poets.org.

Get a free poem a day from children's author Jane Yolen! Sign up here.