Kids Poems » Short Poems for Teens

Short Poems for Teens

Short Poems for Teens

Poetry was employed as a way of recording oral history, storytelling and other different forms of expressing knowledge in olden times. The modern world handles these subjects using prose. The Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic includes poetry in their narrative style. It was written in the 3rd century BCE. William Jones describes the language and poetry used in Ramayana as "more perfect than Latin, more copious than Greek and more exquisitely refined than either." Modernist poetry in English only began in the early 20th century. Modern poetry emphasises on an ornate diction and traditional formalism. Learn and Recite these amazing poems by Bill Collins and Mark Haddon selected for adolescents.

Mark Haddon is an English novelist and he is best known for his book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Costa Book of the Year awards in 2003 and Waverton Good Read Award in 2004. He has also won the Whitbread Award, Guardian Prize, and a Commonwealth Writers Prize for his literary works.

William James "Billy" Collins is an American poet who was appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States (2001-2003). Collins is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida and was also recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library in 1992 and selected as the New York State Poet during the years 2004-2006.

Three poems from Mark Haddon

1. Trees

They stand in parks and graveyards and gardens.
Some of them are taller than department stores,
yet they do not draw attention to themselves.
You will be fitting a heated towel rail one day
and see, through the Louvre window,
a shoal of olive-green fish changing direction
in the air that swims above the little gardens.
Or you will wake at your aunt’s cottage,
your sleep broken by a coal train on the empty hill
as the oaks roar in the wind off the channel.
Your kindness to animals, your skill at the clarinet,
these are accidental things.
We lost this game a long way back.
Look at you. You’re reading poetry.
Outside the spring air is thick
with the seeds of their children.

- Mark Haddon

2. The River-Car

The way it's parked, nose-down between the wet rocks
in the leaf-light of the gorge, water pouring
through the windscreen and the tires blown;
as if the naiads put their fairy horses
out to grass and cruised the night in silver Escorts.

Or as if three boys from Hebden Bridge
grew bored and stole a car and drove it halfway
to the moors, grew bored again, then rolled it
from the muddy track and watched it hammer
through the trees until it came to rest

a hundred yards below. And as the echo
died away, the car they drove in dreams
kept floating downstream and the boys they'd never be
rode every bend of starlit water to the ocean.

- Mark Haddon

3. A View of Poets

They are seldom racing cyclists
And are largely innocent of the workings of the petrol engine
They are, however, comfortable in taxis.
They are abroad in the small hours
And will seek out the caustic blue liqueur
You purchased in Majorca for comedy reasons and will rise late.
There are whole streets where their work is not known.
Spectacles, a father in the army and the distance to the next farm
Made them solitary.
Their pets were given elaborate funerals.
No-one understands them.
They are inordinately proud of this.

- Mark Haddon

Three poems by Bill Collins

1. Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

- Bill Collins

2. Neither Snow

When all of a sudden the city air filled with snow,
the distinguishable flakes
blowing sideways,
looked like krill
fleeing the maw of an advancing whale.

At least they looked that way to me
from the taxi window,
and since I happened to be sitting
that fading Sunday afternoon
in the very center of the universe,
who was in a better position
to say what looked like what,
which thing resembled some other?

Yes, it was a run of white plankton
borne down the Avenue of the Americas
in the stream of the wind,
phosphorescent against the weighty buildings.

Which made the taxi itself,
yellow and slow-moving,
a kind of undersea creature,
I thought as I wiped the fog from the glass,

and me one of its protruding eyes,
an eye on a stem
swiveling this way and that
monitoring one side of its world,
observing tons of water
tons of people
colored signs and lights
and now a wildly blowing race of snow.

- Bill Collins

3. I Go Back To the House For A Book

I turn around on the gravel
and go back to the house for a book,
something to read at the doctor’s office,
and while I am inside, running the finger
of inquisition along a shelf,
another me that did not bother
to go back to the house for a book
heads out on his own,
rolls down the driveway,
and swings left toward town,
a ghost in his ghost car,
another knot in the string of time,
a good three minutes ahead of me—
a spacing that will now continue
for the rest of my life.
Sometimes I think I see him
a few people in front of me on a line
or getting up from a table
to leave the restaurant just before I do,
slipping into his coat on the way out the door.
But there is no catching him,
no way to slow him down
and put us back in synch,
unless one day he decides to go back
to the house for something,
but I cannot imagine
for the life of me what that might be.
He is out there always before me,
blazing my trail, invisible scout,
hound that pulls me along,
shade I am doomed to follow,
my perfect double,
only bumped an inch into the future,
and not nearly as well-versed as I
in the love poems of Ovid—
I who went back to the house
that fateful winter morning and got the book.

- Bill Collins


International Short Story Writing Contest for School Children