Reading or listening to poetry is not something that I’d ever think of as an unpleasant task. Unless you are reading or listening to bad poetry, in which case you should stop it, or unless you just don’t like poetry, which is fine, different boats for different floats, it is generally a delight. A beautiful medium. So it’s remarkable how SUPER shitty reading or listening to poetry normally, like a stupid jerk, seems after watching this video of a three-year-old reciting the Billy Collins poem, “Litany.” Jeeeeeeeepers creepers, everybody! WE’VE BEEN DOING IT ALL WRONG! This is the way every poem was meant to be heard, through the beautiful eyes and empty brain and new-to-speaking mouth of a child who has no idea what he’s even talking about at all, but who can fake it so much better than you’d imagine, and who is very good at memorization. Ugh, it is the best. Forget every poem you’ve ever heard! Listen to this little guy! Mom, make him memorize all the other poems, I CAN NEVER GO BACK!

Ugh, wonderful. Just the best. And I know we just played this game with another baby, but, just because it feel like it’s someone’s birthday today, I don’t know who’s, Elizabeth Olsen’s definitely but I don’t know who else’s, can we play it again with this baby? Baby poets? The baby poet game? GREAT!

  • Edgar Allan Poo-in-my-diaper
  • Charles BukOOWWIEEEski
  • Maya Angepoo-in-my-diaper
  • Raymond Gerber
  • E. E. Come-and-get-me-from-my-crib
  • Walt Disney Whitman
  • Ogden Pashifier

Just a delight, this whole thing, every bit of it. (Via reddit.)

    Comments (28)
    1. PooBlo Neruda-da

    2. William WordsofTheDaysWorth and for the slightly older children, L’agnst on Hughes

    3. Henry Wadsworth Shortfellow.

    4. P.P. Eliot

    5. Ezra 7 Pounds 8 oz

    6. Allen Ginsburp

    7. Meditations in a Potty Emergency

    8. Happy Birthday KellyElizabeth Olsen!

    9. Jack Knick-knack-a-Kerouac Give-a-dog-a-bone.

    10. Emily Dickinson, but a baby.

      • A tiny version of Oscar Wilde

        • William Butler Yeats, only he’s sucking on a pacifier.

          • Maybe if a baby read it, this poem wouldn’t freak me out so much/seem so constantly, terrifyingly relevant:

            Turning and turning in the widening gyre
            The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
            Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
            Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
            The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
            The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
            The best lack all conviction, while the worst
            Are full of passionate intensity.

            Surely some revelation is at hand;
            Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
            The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
            When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
            Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
            A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
            A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
            Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
            Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

            The darkness drops again but now I know
            That twenty centuries of stony sleep
            Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
            And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
            Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

            • Actually, forget that. Now that I’ve read it to myself in a baby voice, it’s even more terrifying. I’m going to hide under my bed now.

            • True story, this poem freaked me out when I first encountered post-childhood, because it brought back so many traumatic memories of being a Jehovah’s Witness.

    11. Babasho

    12. Shakespee-er

    13. I’m playing a poet/birthday game. Elizabeth Barret Birthday
      William Shakesbirth

    14. Li-Extreemly-Young Lee

    15. I would like for some kid to memorize Christopher Walken’s speech from Pulp Fiction next, please.

    16. i know i’m supposed to be making up witty names, but i’ve got to break that trend and say Thanks Kelly! This video is one of my favorites and I haven’t thought about it in a while. I’ve been having a crappy week and oh boy does this make it all better.

      Hurray Kelly.

    17. clean your house then film baby sheesh

    18. why doesn’t it identified as video of the young Mitt Romney ? His off camera mommy is smiling at him with a very very wide smile, warning him, without moving her lips, that some very very bad things will happen if he doesn’t get the poem right?

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