How to teach a Poem to kids in less than 2 minutes…
Day 14 of 31 Days of Poems for Kids: GERMAN SHEPHERD by Myra Cohn Livingston
Words give us the wonderful experience to find a poem among creatures who use no words at all… animals!
Kids love poems about animals. It’s a way to journey into the wonderfully mysterious worlds of animals and allow imaginations to soar. Today, let’s take a walk with a GERMAN SHEPHERD and be inspired by 20th century poet Myra Cohn Livingston, who writes so eloquently about knowing no words at all…
GERMAN SHEPHERD by Myra Cohn Livingston
He has never heard of tides,
of moon and sun
pulling the water to ebb, to flow.
All that he can know
is to outrun
white foam and waves,
wetting his paws, his muzzle,
playing the game
in the joy of a wetness
He can never name ocean.
Read the poem aloud with your children. Read it a couple of times.
Talk about who does know about tides and moon and sun and how they are all connected in some mysterious way that people study and chart and find so interesting and important; because it is interesting and important… for information about such things as weather, navigation, fishing, and even entertainment. It’s complex. And it’s something people talk about and write about every single day.
But what about the German Shepherd? Does he study tides, ebb and flow and gravitational pull and all that good stuff? NO! He has no words and he needs no words to feel the joy of a wetness. The water. The white foam and waves. Playing. Outrunning. Talk about a dog, maybe your own dog, who you’ve seen playing the game in the joy of a wetness… needing no words to romp and jump and play and get wet. He feels the joy of it. That’s all that matters to him.
Talk about how interesting it is that a poet can use words to describe how interesting it is to need no words. Hmmmm.
In the poem GERMAN SHEPHERD, Myra Cohn Livingston gives us a lot to think about, to talk about, to use WORDS about! The German Shepherd is happy… never needing to name the word ocean to enjoy the ocean. Ask your children how they would feel if they could never name ocean. It’s very thought-provoking!
Remember, too, that LITERACY/LEARNING/READING are all about WORDS – Written, Spoken & Felt
If you enjoyed this poem, you may also enjoy:
Fog, by Carl Sandburg
from Five Haiku, by Paul Eluard
Love is, by Nikki Giovanni
Temple Bell, by Yosa Buson
The Snail, by Richard Wright
Evening, by Sappho
The Red Wheelbarrow, by William Carlos William
The White Horse, by D. H. Lawrence
Dragonfly Catcher, by Chiyojo
The Giraffe, by Ron Padgett