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Poetry Magnum Opus

Nursery Rhyme and Playground Rhyme


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Nursery Rhymes probably didn't begin in the nursery.  They are not rhymes created by children but by adults for children.  Often the lyrics are to teach or warn in a positive fun way.  Some popular rhymes date back to oral traditions, Latin and Greek and 14th century England but it wasn't until the 18th century that they began to be written down. The early nursery rhymes were not just written to entertain children, many reflected the events of the times. The popular Ring Around the Rosey is thought to describe symptoms of the Black Plague of the Middle Ages. Most Nursery Rhymes written in English are in accentual meter and often use the ballad stanza.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall                                         
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall            
All the kings horses and all the king's men  
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty
back together again.                                
Ring around the rosies
a pocket full of poesies
ashes ashes, all fall down.

Symptoms of the Black Plague of the 14th century are described
in this Nursery Rhyme. Apparently one symptom was sores
or rosies that had a rings around them, poesies were
flowers for a funeral and ashes for the cremated remains of the dead.

Playground Rhyme is an offshoot of the Nursery Rhyme, though in this genre the children are a little older and the poems have been written both by kids and adults, often focusing on counting and used for hopscotch or jump-rope activities.  Then again they can be a teaching tool to assist the memory and need not involve numbers at all.  In all cases the rhythm, rhyme and repetition should be catchy to be easily remembered. 




“Captal M - I - crooked letter                       
Crooked letter I
Crooked Letter
Crooked letter I 
Humpback humpback I 
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around, 
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground, 
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, show your shoe,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, that will do!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers, 
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the lights, 
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight!




~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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