The Poolbeg Book of Irish Poetry For Children


If I knew the box where the smiles are kept,
No matter how large the key,
Or strong the bolt I would try so hard
’Twould open I know for me:
Then over the land and sea broadcast,
I’d scatter the smiles to play,
That the children’s faces might hold them fast
For many and many a day.
If I knew a box that was large enough
To hold all the frowns I meet,
I would like to gather them every one
From the nursery, school or street,
Then, folding and holding, I’d pack them in
And turning the monster key,
I’d hire a giant to drop the box
To the depths of the deep, deep sea.


Editor’s comments

In my introduction to The Poolbeg Book of Irish Poetry for Children I posed the question: "Is there any Irish poetry for children?"

There certainly is some being written now by living poets but there seemed to me at the beginning of my research to be little poetry from the past either written directly for children or poetry that would, at second best, be suitable for children. I was pleasantly surprised at how many delightful poems fall into my second category …

My book is in three sections:

Poems from Ancient Ireland

Poems from the Great Poets of the Past

Poems from Present Day Poets.

The Poolbeg Book of Irish Poetry for Children 1997/98/99/00
ISBN 1 85371 726 6

The top-selling poetry anthology in Ireland in 1999
Copies of this book are available from from Amazon or other leading bookshops.

Signed copies (£4.99 + pandp) are available from Shaun Traynor direct at: