This poem was written in honor of Lee Bennett Hopkins, a giant in the world of children’s poetry. Lee passed away on August 8th of this year. Today, the Poetry Friday community is sharing poetry honoring Lee. My contribution is a Golden Shovel using the title of Lee’s classic book, with phrases from some of Lee’s own poems woven in. Lee joyfully spread his love of poetry throughout the world, and his loss is immeasurable. How lucky we are that our lives were enriched by Lee, and that we have volumes and volumes of poetry to help keep his legacy alive.
Pass the Poetry, Please!
Italicized lines are from the following poems by Lee (in order of appearance):
“Under the Microscope” from Spectacular Science (Simon & Schuster, 1999)
“Librarian” from School People (Wordsong, 2018)
“Ruby” from Hoofbeats, Claws & Rippled Fins: Creature Poems (HarperCollins, 2002)
“Storyteller (For Augusta Baker)” from Jumping Off Library Shelves (Wordsong, 2015)
Introduction to I Am the Cat (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981)
And, of course, Pass the Poetry, Please! a treasure trove of poetic love, containing “a wealth of ideas to encourage a child’s natural delight in poetry.” (from the back cover of my paperback of the revised edition, published by HarperTrophy in 1987.)
Please be sure to visit our gracious host, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, at The Poem Farm for more remembrances of Lee.