Saturday, April 04, 2009

X. J. Kennedy - Ladder to the Moon

Ladder to the Moon
X. J. Kennedy

If I had a ladder that reached to the moon
Up its trillions of rungs I'd go,
Higher than ever the clouds can fly
Till the earth was a ball below.

I'd put on my warm wool winter coat
And my long scarlet scarf in case
While I climbed my ladder straight up to the moon
It started to snow in space.

I'd sidestep a couple of shooting stars
And stand on the steepest hill
At the top of my ladder to the moon
If only the moon stood still.

©2009 X. J. Kennedy. All rights reserved.

If you'll allow me to be a fan-boy for a second, I just have to repeat what I said when I looked in my inbox not terribly long ago -- "X.J. Kennedy sent a poem!!!!!!" That was before I opened the mail, mind you, but I couldn't believe I was gonna get to read something new from him. Then after I had opened it, I wanted to go out and read his poem to every child (and adult) I could find.

Ladder to the Moon is definitely not the first time I've felt that he had captured and given voice to how I viewed the world as a child (okay... fine... and still do). His poetry for children, from the light to darker verse like Brats, just plain old clicks with me... and since X.J. Kennedy has been awarded everything from a Guggenheim fellowship to the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children with many other awards and honors for his poetry (for adults and children both) along the way, I'm clearly not alone in my appreciation. But appreciate, I do, and I'm thrilled to have X. J. Kennedy as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday brought A Poem Is... by Charles Ghigna. Tomorrow brings Owl by Ann Whitford Paul.


Candace Ryan said...

I love moon ladders! I will file this poem in my mind next to moon ladder illustrations by Eric Carle and Cooper Edens.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I've got to share this one with my sons. They will love it!

J. Patrick Lewis said...

Leaving aside for a moment his mastery of adult poetry, Joe is indisputably the children's poets' children's poet.

Kate Coombs said...

Greg, thanks for sharing this poem, and for this entire amazing month of poems! X.J. Kennedy is also a talented anthologist--Knock at a Star is such a good collection that when the new edition came out, I bought it, too.

tanita✿davis said...

In the process of moving, I ran across an X.J. Kennedy book my favorite college professor gave me. I had to sit down and read some before I could put it in a box. I have always loved his work -- for adults, and it appeals to the kid part of me, too.

Mary Lee said...

I'm catching up on all the new poems here at GottaBooks 30/30. VERY fun. All of them. So far, Rebecca Kai Dotlich's is probably my favorite -- I'm a cat lover and rescuer. The trio by Charles Ghigna resonates with Sara's Poetry Friday post this week at ReadWriteBelieve.

Kristy Dempsey said...

Oh, yes. What kid has never dreamed "till the Earth was a ball below"?

Love it!

Marinela said...

Nice poem!

Dana said...

Oh, I just love this one! It gave me inspiration for an art project to do with the kids.

Liz in Ink said...

Swoon swoon swoon!!!