Walking With a Three Year Old

Gay invited me to re-link this post to dVerse, as she felt that (even before I read her article) that it would fit with the “Beat Poetry” theme, so if you have already read this post, you don’t have to read it again  🙂

I’ll try to write something else later, so I hope you don’t mind too much if I link up 2 poems to the same prompt…


Sorry, before I get to the poem, I need to give a few notes of explanation:

One of the songs that the Dave Brubeck Quartet was known for was Blue Rondo a la Turk.  A good portion of this piece is written in 9/8 time.   Basically, this means that there are 9 beats in each measure, and the 8th note receives one beat.  Usually, when a piece is written in 9/8 time, it is played with a rhythm of Strong weak weak Strong weak weak Strong weak weak.  Brubeck, however, put the “emPHAsis on different syllables.”  Instead of 3+3+3, he wrote the piece to have 3 measures of 2+2+2+3, and then a fourth measure of 3+3+3, and then that 4 measure rhythm would repeat.  To translate that into poetic terms, you could say that the poem was written in quatrain stanzas with 3 lines of trochee, trochee, trochee dactyl, and then a 4th line of 3 dactyls.  This irregular rhythm seems, to me, to give a rushing/impatient feel.  I wanted to write a poem to this rhythm, and immediately thought of my youngest son, Kai, who is a VERY busy boy.

If you listen to the above link, you can hear how Brubeck and his friends made this work.  Of course, Brubeck’s song has a lot more complexity than just the rhythm I’ve listed above, but the 9/8 feel of his piece is what I wanted to capture in my poem.  You may also notice that the last stanza of my poem has 13 syllables in the final line instead of 9.  If you listen to the end of the Brubeck composition, you will see that I have modeled this after his tune.  I found that sticking to the same rhythm throughout didn’t allow for a metrical resolution, but when I followed Brubeck’s example, the poem felt like it could end.

One other point:  I have capitalized the first letter of stressed syllables to help the reader/reciter get the feel.

And now, if you have been patient enough to wade through all the technical details, here is the poem:


Walking Down the Street with My young son
Discov’Ring the World is So much fun
See him Skip and Play and Jump and run
Look at this Look at that Here’s a stick

Ev’ry Canine We hapPen to see
Gets a ‘ThusiAstic “Hi puppy!”
Life is Simply Grand when You are three
Look at this On the ground See the worm!

Things that I might See and Just pass by
Are uNique to Him and Catch his eye
Things i Take for Granted: He’ll ask why
Why did that Leaf fall down From that tree?

This world I guess Might someTimes seem bland
Unless Our horIzons We expand
So walk With a Child Hand-in-hand
And maybe You will see Something new

Don’t be Afraid To look Through their eyes
I susPect that You’ll have A surprise
That a Kid so Young can Be so wise
Seeing things That we miss Everyday

That’s beCause the World to Them’s still new
And they Haven’t “Learned” to Cloud their view
An adVantage Over Me and you
So why don’t We let them Take the lead And be our Guides


Posted for dVerse Open Link Night.  Come on out and share your own poetry, or read the works of some other great poets!


34 thoughts on “Walking With a Three Year Old

  1. ah it’s fun to walk the world with a young kid…they look at things so differently and with such fresh eyes… and make us see familiar things in a new light…loving it..

  2. there is a really cool rhythm to this…and def so cool to walk with kids and see how they see the world and remember we once saw like that…and maybe if we try we can again…smiles…

  3. I enjoyed your explanation and then the poem. I very much like the rhythm and the way you made it clear with the capitalizing. I agree that if you spend time with a child your world enlarges. Their sense of wonder makes you wonder too, and you cannot help but smile.i experience the same with a granddaughter, almost six, who is growing up way too soon.

  4. Very ambitious.. and I had to listen to the tune… Realized I had heard this before… *** I think you’ll love dVerse on Thursday (check out Gay’s entry) ** . I think that seeing the world through through a child’s eye help.. And could hear you son running around in the melody…

  5. Oh Bryan – I’ve been a huge fan of Brubeck all my life. Have (omg!) the original albums as my husband and I were such huge jazz buffs.
    This is a stellar poem! So innovative poetically and so interesting that you used simple rhymes to counterpoint the difficult rhythm/meter of the piece. So much wish you had linked to my jazz article; however, it will work very well indeed to go with the Beat poets article I am posting tomorrow. I wish you would link again with the same poem to expand the base of readers in light of that article and the one on jazz (it was originally meant to be one article, however I split them because of length-jazz and blues as well as politics and hard times influenced the rise of the Beats.).
    I could praise this on so many levels. I also think you could take the meter and apply it without rhyme on subjects that may be darker or more intense in aspect– developing this rhythm without rhyme. This poem is just a magnificent exploration.

  6. Not only talented, i will say intelligent too!…. And let me join this to compliment the musical outlook… Ringing and invoking some nice tones.. Smiles

  7. Wise words. I love the innocence of children as they view the world and their forever questioning and how so much they do see that we no longer do. Perhaps the world would be a much nicer place if we allowed them to guide us…
    Anna :o]

  8. Yes, kids have a great advantage over us. My 10 yr. old son was writing poetry tonight–some of his images were so fresh, it put me to shame! Kids naturally see the world as poets should. Excellent work, and the rhythm is wonderful!

  9. Have to confess that I find this unsettling, as I always did Brubeck’s sound.
    But your juxtaposition of this sound and your lines fascinates me, even though I have trouble in accepting the unusual emphasis. An eye opener as to what one can do with poetry lines.

  10. So true that young children are wise. They see things as they are not how we are conditioned to think:) And mostly they remember where they came from until they are used to flesh and gravity.

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