Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Poems by Karla Kuskin

*see below
Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Please visit Terrific Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for Roundup.

I'm beginning a new series today on Karla Kuskin. Several of you suggested her work to me when I mentioned wanting to do a follow-up to my series on Valerie Worth. And since I knew nothing of Karla's work, well, it seemed a perfect way to educate myself!

In honor of the polar weather, I'm happy to share with you today some snow poems:


We'll play in the snow
And stray in the snow
And stay in the snow
In a sow-white park.
We'll clown in the snow
And frown in the snow
Fall down in the snow
Till it's after dark.
We'll cook snow pies
In a big snow pan.
We'll make snow eyes
In a round snow man.
We'll sing snow songs
And chant snow songs
And chant now chants
And roll in the snow
In our fat snow pants.
And when it's time to go home to eat
We'll have snow toes
On our frosted feet.

-Karla Kuskin

Joe's Snow Clothes

For wandering walks
In the sparking snow
No one is muffled
More warmly than Joe.
No one is mittened more,
Coated or hatted,
Booted or sweatered,
Both knitted and tatted,
Buttoned and zippered,
Tied, tucked and belted,
Padded and wadded
And quilted and felted,
Hooked in and hooded,
Tweeded and twilled.
Nothing of Joe's
From his top to his toes
But the tip of his nose
Could be touched
By the snows
Or the wind as it lows,
And grow rather rosy,
The way a nose grows
If it's frozen
Or possibly chilled.

-Karla Kuskin

*About the photo: Scott's Run, West Virginia. Miner's child - This boy was digging coal from mine refuse on the road side. The picture was taken December 23, 1936 on a cold day; Scott's Run was buried in snow. The child was barefoot and seemed to be used to it. He was a quarter mile from his home.(WikiCommons, WPA photo by Lewis Hines)


  1. Well, I love Karla Kuskin, so this is so exciting to see, Irene, & both poems are wonderful, especially that second. We have snow today & I wonder if any of the kids will be "Padded and wadded/And quilted and felted"? Usually our kids come from a warm car, & even wear shorts! That picture you found is another story, isn't it? Surely he is cold! Thanks for all!

  2. These are fabulous, Irene! Thanks for sharing Karla's poetry. I've seen a bit on Renee's blog.

  3. I do like Karla Kuskin's poetry, and these are wonderful. What a great photo too. Happy to hear you're doing a new series featuring her work. :)

  4. I love Karla Kuskin's poetry. Of these two I especially love all these great bundled up words: "Coated or hatted/Booted or sweatered/Both knitted and tatted/Buttoned and zippered/Tied, tucked and belted/Padded and wadded/And quilted and felted/Hooked in and hooded,/Tweeded and twilled."

  5. Love the rhythm that practically gallops down the page.

  6. Wow. The story behind that picture is fascinating! Makes the poems seem just a little...light in comparison.

  7. I've used Karla Kuskin's poems with my students for many years. I'm looking forward to discovering some poems I might not have read before. : )


Your thoughts?