Whisper and Shout

Poems to Memorize

Cricket Books
2002 | ISBN
Whisper and Shout

Whether you want to coax a giggle from a friend with a silly limerick, greet a hot meal on a cold night with Lewis Carroll’s, tribute to “Beautiful Soup,” or quietly consider the wonder of nature with Ashley Bryan’s “Song,” you’ll find poems here you’ll want to know by heart.

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“A skilled anthologist, Vecchione has drawn from a wide range of subjects and styles, all pitched perfectly to the intermediate reader…. The strength of this collection lies in Vecchione’s unusual choices.” 

Vecchione writes with simple eloquence about memorization and the joy of poetry (“poems are made out of our everyday language that’s given special attention”)…. The best pieces are timeless, and kids will enjoy chanting together E. E. Cummings’ “maggie and milly and molly and may” as well as reading some quieter verses alone. The book design invites browsing, there’s plenty of white space and an exuberant watercolor picture at the start of each section.

Read an Excerpt

Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress-Toward
(Among them Nora and Henry III)

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
“Even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night.”
You will be right.
For that is that hard home-run.
Live not for the battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

Gwendolyn Brooks


I saw Esau sawing wood,
And Esau saw I saw him;
Though Esau saw I saw him saw,
Still Esau went on sawing.