The New York Times Artsbeat online had a lovely little piece this morning with a three-year-old reciting Billy Collins' Litany. I'll leave you to discover that one yourselves, knowing how my poetry peeps love them some Collins. (If you aren't familiar with the poem, you'll need to read it -- three year olds can indeed memorize and recite, but their diction leaves something slightly to be desired.)
THIS one is my favorite -- and somehow, this kid reminds me of Alkelda's daughter. Can you not see her as equally brilliant, wiggling and reciting poetry on camera? I can.
P.S. - There are those who are horrified by this -- there's always someone -- and there have been people commenting that this is not a child but an automaton, blah, blah, blah. The fact is that little kids are really good at memorizing things, and just because this child's mother decided that poetry was more worth his time than sixteen verses of There's A Hole In The Bucket or that immortal favorite The Eensy Weency Spider, (quite a worthy song, to my mind) doesn't mean she's hurting him necessarily.* I am amused by the amusement he finds in the silly assertions of Collins' poems - silly to him - anyway, and by the drama he finds in Tennyson. Here's hoping he can remember that one for 8th grade English.
But, if you prefer to think that this kid's parents are damaging him and giving him an unhappy childhood, I'll leave you to it.