When you ask your grandmother a provocative question, you just might get a charming poem in reply. 🙂
WHAT IS THE POND DOING? by Diana Hendry (for Ruairidh, who asked) Wobbling like a wobbly jelly Being a bucket for the rain Sending flash-backs to the sun Cheeking the sky Giving the moon a bath Letting swans, ducks and winter leaves ride on its back Licking the lollipop reeds Pretending to be soup for the wind to stir Growing stinky skunk cabbages Drawing wheels and circles then rubbing them out Plopping slopping slurping spinning Turning the weeping willows happily upside down Dreaming of running away to sea Hiding under a starry blanket of dark What is the pond doing? Ponding. Responding.
Such a delightful list poem tapping right into a child’s sensibility. Love all the fetching verbs beginning each line, and the clever use of personification, which gives the pond a distinct personality.
You can just imagine kids giggling at, “licking the lollipop reeds” and “plopping slopping slurping spinning.” Quick, say that fast five times. 🙂
The use of “cheeking” as a verb is an interesting choice. It’s not something we commonly hear in America, but the British use it to describe impudence. Perhaps the pond is being a bit cocky with the sky — look at all the things I can do that you cannot!
Hendry’s structure is perfection. The title asks a question, the poem answers it, and then Hendry wows you with that brilliant why-didn’t-I-think-of-that ending.
Did I mention that “Pretending to be soup for the wind to stir” is my favorite line? 🙂
“What Is the Pond Doing?” was written for the UK’s National Poetry Day in 2013. The theme that year was “water.” Diana Hendry is new to me and I look forward to reading and pondering more of her work.
Enjoy this wonderful video of Diana reciting the poem with her grandson Ruairidh. What a great job he does, especially at the end. 🙂
♥️ 2022 NATIONAL POETRY MONTH KIDLITOSPHERE ROUNDUP ♥️
This year I will be once again posting a Roundup of Kidlitosphere Blog Events. If you’re doing something special at your blog during April, please send your info (+ any graphics, if applicable) to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. I’m looking forward to hearing your plans! 🙂
Lovely and talented Ruth Hersey is hosting the Roundup at There’s no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Be sure to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere this week. Happy Spring!
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