If Only, the Hippogriff

Hippogriff Lit LiteratureIt’s the rainy season in Bogotá, Colombia, where I live. This can mean cold rain and overhanging black clouds for three months straight.

But today the sun is out, and I am taking my baby to the park. So in honor of this critical event, I am posting a poem by playful children’s poet X. J. Kennedy.

To look at this fictitious steed
You’d think some mixed-up farmer
Had crossed an eagle with a horse.
It carries knights in armor
Through cloud fields at terrific speed.
I wish the Hippogriff
Would take me for a ride. Of course
It’s not real.
                     But oh, if . . .!


Before publishing children’s poetry, Kennedy built a solid reputation writing “serious” poetry, putting together textbooks and even running a literary magazine with his wife. It wasn’t until 1975, when Kennedy was close to fifty, that he began publishing volumes of children’s poetry.

Some of his more notable books include “Elympics,” dedicated to an elephant Olympics; “The Beasts of Bethlehem,” about the animals present during the birth of baby Jesus; and the self-explanatory “Brats, Fresh Brats and Drat these Brats!”

What I really love about children’s poetry is that, when it’s good, it is joyful, clever and refreshing fun.

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