All three of us were in the living room and Joy was reading Poe to herself, when she looked up at Mookie, looked down at her book, and began to read “The Raven” aloud. Mookie was entranced. She came closer and closer, leaned her head on Joy’s shoulder, and finally settled in my lap. She didn’t say a word, not even to ask the meaning of the many words that I’m sure she didn’t understand. “That is such a great poem,” I said at the end. We talked about it for a minute. “Nevermore,” Mookie whispered.
As with so many things, if Joy had said, “Do you want to hear a poem?” Mookie might well have said, “No thanks,” but wisely, she just started reading and let Poe cast his spell. Then she asked if Mookie wanted to hear another poem, and she said yes, so we have just heard “Annabel Lee” as well. We have lots of great poetry for children (and poems, like “The Raven,” that she’d love even thought they aren’t written for children), and clearly we have to read it together more often.