Monday, March 17, 2008

The Poetry That's Considered "Classic" by HBO

A news release from The Poetry Foundation came in today, revealing that the organization is working with an HBO show for children -- and it seems to me that the list of poems to be incorporated in the April 12 show gives a notion of what's now the "cannon." Note that Robert Frost tops the chart. Here it is:

Poetry Foundation Collaborates with HBO on
Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show
Latest installment of the Emmy-winning series debuts April 12

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation, in collaboration with HBO, is pleased to announce the premiere of Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show, a television special for kids and their families about poetry. The latest installment of HBO's acclaimed Classical Baby series transports viewers into the world of literary arts, planting the seeds for a new generation to become lifelong lovers of poetry. Featuring classic poems by some of the world's greatest poets—including William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Christina Rossetti, and Federico García Lorca—the program premieres on Saturday, April 12, at 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, exclusively on HBO.

"We're certain that young children—and their parents—who are introduced to poetry via this enchanting program will be captivated by the beauty and wonder of the art form," said John Barr, president of the Poetry Foundation. "Our research confirms that a positive experience with poetry early in life is the best way to create a lifelong reader of poetry."

An HBO original program produced in association with the Poetry Foundation, Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show introduces audiences to timeless poetry through animation and song. Featuring the voices of performers Andy Garcia, John Lithgow, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Susan Sarandon, and Jeffrey Wright, and poets Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, and William Carlos Williams, Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show consists of approximately a dozen short segments presenting well-known poems—and some surprises—in a delightful format. Between each segment, children—ranging in age from 4 to 9—offer commentary and muse on the meaning and mystery of poetry.

Poems featured in the program include the following:

* "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost; read by Susan Sarandon
* "The Swing" by Robert Louis Stevenson; sung by Beverly Gile and Frances Archer
* "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams; recited by Finn, age 7
* "Grassy Grass Grass" by Woody Guthrie; performed by Elizabeth Mitchell
* "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear; read by John Lithgow
* "Sonnet XVIII" by William Shakespeare; read by Jeffrey Wright
* "Mariposa" by Federico García Lorca; recited by Andy Garcia in Spanish with English subtitles
* "This Is Just to Say," written and read by William Carlos Williams
* "April Rain Song," written and read by Langston Hughes
* "A Very Valentine," written and read by Gertrude Stein
* "Who Has Seen the Wind?" by Christina Rossetti; read by child Maria Molloy
* "How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; read by Gwyneth Paltrow

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