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Children's Poetry

Poetry Break 18
Poetry Break 30
Module 6 Book Review
Poetry Break 29: a classic and a contemporary poem
Poetry Break 28
Poetry Break 26
Poetry Break 27
Module 5 Book Review
Poetry Break 21
Poetry Break 22
Poetry Break 23
Poetry Break 24
Poetry Break 25
Poetry Break 16
Poetry Break 17
Poetry Break 18
Poetry Break 19
Poetry Break 20
Poet Study
Some favorite poems by Paul Janeczko
Janeczko Favorites, page 2
Janeczko Favorites, Page 3
Janeczko Favorites, Page 4
Janeczko Favorites, Page 5
Books compiled, edited or written by Paul Janeczko
Web Sites and Programming Ideas: Janeczko
Module 2 Book review
Poetry Break 9
Poetry Break 11
Poetry Break 12
Poetry Break 13
Poetry Break 14
Poetry Break 15
Module 3 Book Review
Module 4 Book Review
Poetry Break 10
Poetry Break 8
Poetry Break 6
Poetry Break 7
Review: nursery rhymes
Poem about school
Picture book with poem line breaks
Favorite song with formatted poem line breaks
A less familiar Mother Goose poem
Contact Me
Classic Poem

Introduction- This poem complements the nonfiction book Outside and Inside Bats, by Sandra Markle.  (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1997.)

"Bats," by Randall Jarrell
A bat is born
Naked and blind and pale.
His mother makes a pocket of her tail
and catches him.  He clings to her long fur
By his thumbs and toes and teeth.
And then the mother dances through the night
Doubling and looping, soaring, somersaulting--
Her baby hangs on underneath.
All night, in happiness, she hunts and flies.
Her high sharp cries
Like shining needlepoints of sound
Go out into the night, and echoing back,
Tell her what they have touched.
She hears how far it is, how big it is,
Which way it's going:
She lives by hearing.
The mother eats the moths and gnats she catches
In full flight; in full flight
The mother drinks the water of the pond
She skims across.  Her baby hangs on tight.
Her baby drinks the milk she makes him
In moonlight or starlight, in mid-air.
Their single shadow, printed on the moon
Or fluttering across the stars,
Whirls on all night; at daybreak
The tired mother flaps home to her rafter.
The others all are there.
They hang themselves up by their toes,
They wrap themselves in their brown wings.
Bunched upside-down, they sleep in air.
Their sharp ears, their sharp teeth, their quick sharp faces
Are dull and slow and mild.
All the bright day, as the mother sleeps,
She folds her wings about her sleeping child.
In Keillor, Garrison, ed.  Good Poems.  New York: Viking, 2002.

Extension- The book has some amazing stop-action photographs illustrating the lives of bats.  Children will probably enjoy comparing what Jarrell says in his poem about bats with the information in the book.  They could be encouraged to think about if they were bats-- what type would they want to be?  Why?  Ask them to write a poem about bat life.