Those of you who know me will be aware that I'm not an enormous poetry fan. I think it mostly comes from writing too much dreadful stuff as a teen. But I make some exceptions, and one of those is children's poetry. And I thought I'd share a poem by one of my favourite children's poets, E.V. Rieu, who is perhaps better known for his Penguin Classics translations of The Odyssey and the Bible.
The Hippopotamus's BirthdayHe has opened all his parcelsbut the largest and the last;His hopes are at their highestand his heart is beating fast.O happy Hippopotamus,what lovely gift is here?He cuts the string. The world stands still.A pair of boots appear!O little Hippopotamus,the sorrows of the small!He dropped two tears to minglewith the flowing Senegal;And the 'Thank you' that he utteredwas the saddest ever heardIn the Senegambian junglefrom the mouth of beast or bird.