CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation, in collaboration with HBO Family, is pleased to announce the premiere of A Child’s Garden of Poetry, airing Thursday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. Central Time on HBO. The captivating program features whimsical animation, contributions from kids, and readings by notable performers, including celebrities Claire Danes, Carrie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ziggy Marley, Dave Matthews, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, and Jeffrey Wright and archival recordings from renowned poets e.e. cummings, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Carl Sandburg. Children share selections from their favorite poets (from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes) as well as some of their own poetry—and speak about their personal appreciation for the art form, too.
“By bringing poetry to the young, this program is helping to create the next generation of poetry lovers,” said Poetry Foundation president John Barr. “Children are the future of poetry.”
Poems featured in the program include the following:
- “My Shadow,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Julianne Moore
- “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost, read by Philip Seymour Hoffman
- “sweet spring is your time . . . ,” written and read by e.e. cummings
- “An Old Silent Pond,” by Matsuo Basho, read by Josh Hamilton
- “Thoughts on a Still Night,” by Li Bai, read by Fiona, age seven
- “The Tropics in New York,” by Claude McKay, read by Ziggy Marley
- “When You Are Old,” by William Butler Yeats, read by Liam Neeson
- “Harlem 2,” by Langston Hughes, read by Kason, age eight
- “Calico Pie,” words and illustrations by Edward Lear, song by Natalie Merchant
- Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, read by Jeffrey Wright
- “Recuerdo,” written and read by Edna St. Vincent Millay
- “Brother,” by Mary Ann Hoberman, read by Carrie Fisher
- “ ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” by Emily Dickinson, read by Claire Danes and signed by Rachel, age nine
- “Buffalo Dusk,” written and read by Carl Sandburg
- “Daffodils,” by William Wordsworth, read by Dave Matthews
- “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” by William Butler Yeats, read by Liam Neeson and Emily, age six
A Child’s Garden of Poetry is the second collaboration between the Poetry Foundation and director-producer Amy Schatz. Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show, which debuted in April 2008, received an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Children’s Program.
The program will repeat on HBO Family on April 30 (5:30 p.m.) and May 3 (3:30 p.m.), 9 (5:00 p.m.), 12 (4:30 a.m.), 15 (12:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.), 20 (12:30 p.m.), 23 (11 a.m.), 25 (3:40 p.m.), and 28 (7:30 p.m.) (all times Central).