I write many poems, some about children. Important writers like Robert Louis Stevenson and Jane Yolen have published excellent books of poetry for young people. However, I find that poems about kids are now very hard to publish. Why is this so difficult?
My theory is that many editors, especially men, believe that poems about children are overly sentimental and thus unworthy of publication. But we can easily refute this prejudice. Children are an important part of human society. They amuse us, they frustrate us, they comfort us, they exhaust us, they teach us, they love us, and they often inspire us to write. Children are our future.
When they leave home, even people who do not have a child of their own interact with kids. In the United States, we spend a lot of time discussing how to educate children and keep them healthy.
So why is it frivolous to write poetry about children?
Originally posted on June 13, 2010