Poetry Friday: In Memoriam

“Poetry and I fit together.
I can’t imagine being without it…
It is food and drink, it is all seasons,
it is the stuff of all existence.”
~ Lee Bennett Hopkins ~

The death of Lee Bennett Hopkins yesterday leaves a gaping hole at the heart of the children’s poetry community. Lee was a visionary. His books, both his own and the countless anthologies he edited, are treasures. Although I never met him in person, Lee has had an enormous influence on both my teaching and my writing and his work will continue to inspire students and poets for years to come.

Coincidentally, Been to Yesterdays, Lee’s 1995 autobiographical poetry collection, was on my desk this morning. After reading the sad news, I reread many of my favorites from this book, including this one. Lee did indeed make this world a whole lot brighter.

To

make
this world
a whole lot
brighter

when
I
grow up
I’ll
be
a writer.
I’ll
write about
some things
I know–

how to bunt
how to throw…

a Christmas wish
a butter dish…

a teddy bear
an empty chair…

the love I have inside
to
share…

Yes.

To
make
this world
a whole lot
brighter,

when
I
grow up
I’ll be
a
writer.

by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Please be sure to visit my friend and critique group partner, Molly Hogan, at Nix the Comfort Zone for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: In Memoriam

  1. What an incredible tribute. Thank you, Catherine. So much love he DID share with all of us…even when it wasn’t easy. I’m tucking this poem away into my “poetry pandemonium” file for school.

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  2. A heartfelt post, Catherine. “the love I have inside
    to
    share… Thanks for the reminder of this lovely book, too, and of Lee’s continuing generosity.

    Like

  3. Catherine, a perfect choice of one of thousands of Lee Bennett Hopkins’ poems. He will surely be missed. I have so many of his books that will help me continue to hear his voice.

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  4. That poem is a favorite of mine as well, Catherine. (It’s the one he based his TLD “ME poem” challenge off of a few years ago!) Thank you for sharing it and making me remember and smile. 🙂

    Like

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