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Comparison of Silverstein and Greenfield

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Comparison of Silverstein and Greenfield


Writing for children can prove to be a really daunting task especially when the artist is not armed with the necessary skills on what needs to be handled in his or her work. This is majorly because childhood is a very sensitive stage in the development of human beings and it is one of the stages in human development where one gets to learn a lot. Shel Silverstein and Eloise Greenfield are two poets who have excelled in writing poetry aimed at developing the young minds of children. There is a number of ways in which these two poets can be attributed similarity regarding the way they portray childhood by focusing on the role that imagination plays in their depictions of children in their poetry.

Portrayal of childhood by Silverstein and Greenfield

The two poets portray children as having minds that are active and able to get new concepts introduced to them with ease. The fact that their poetry is aimed at introducing these new concepts such as the theme of love by Greenfield and the meaning of sadness and other emotions by Silverstein is clear indication that according to these poets, the child's mind is ready to receive new concepts when they are able to read poetry.

Weighty matters of social concern can be introduced to children through poetry as revealed in the works of the two poets. The child's mind is ready at this time to receive the new knowledge. This is true considering that some of the poems by the two poets have been used in teaching children advanced lessons such as philosophy. For instance, the nature of motherhood as a subject is introduced to children through the use of the poem 'Karen" by Greenfield. In the poem, the little girl's mother is not present to put her to bed a role that is taken by her sister who gives the persona "mama's kisses" when she wants to sleep (Greenfield, 45).

Both poets write in free prose which makes it easy to the children of that age to identify with the narrators in the poem. In order to clearly understand the happenings in the poem, the child readers need to identify with the persona such as to break the barrier that may exist in between them as suggested by the poets. Messages conveyed in the poems are easily discerned by the child reader when matters are communicated in a manner that they understand well. Since children are not conversant with the complicated conventions of poetry, the use of the free verse by the two poets conveys a clear and informed understanding of the children's minds which help the poetry to effectively serve its purpose.

There is a fear of the unknown that is prevalent in children as portrayed by some of the poems by the two poets. For instance, in Eloise Greenfield's "Buddy's Dream", the young boy has fear emanating from his



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