Celebrate National Poetry Month with Calef Brown

by Amy Kraft on April 18, 2009

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Now, I’m not always poetry’s biggest fan. Too often flowery language clouds the main point or it’s too conceptual or self-important. But when poetry is done right… boy, howdy, it’s fun stuff. Take, for example, Calef Brown’s Polka-Bats and Octopus Slacks


I’ve read this book to Olive since she was a squirmy little baby – it’s such a fun read-aloud. Calef Brown has several of his poems up on his website, like these two from Polka-Bats:



Sadly, my two favorites are not up there: Funky Snowman and, best of all, Kansas City Octopus. It’s worth buying the book for this poem alone, what with this description of slacks made for an octopus:

Red corduroy,

and boy-o-boy,

they fit like apple pie.

Multi-pocket snazzy trousers

custom made for octopi. 

Right? There are sketches of Kansas City Octopus as part of this terrific interview with Calef Brown at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (a blog all book lovers should be reading). 

I also realized a job hazard today. While looking at Calef Brown’s website, I stumbled onto his Etsy shop and bought this beautiful painting, Pagoda Tree.


For more on National Poetry Month, you can also read my blog posts (here and here) over on the Hooked on Phonics blog.

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