Celebrated author Nancy Willard writes adult poetry and fiction as well as kids' books and is a National Book Award finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and Newbery Medal recipient. Many of her backlist adult books were republished last year with Open Road, including the book of selected poetry Swimming Lessons.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Open Road produced a video of Nancy Willard reading from one of her poems in Swimming Lessons, "Questions My Son Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Him." The video below pairs Nancy reading with striking images of nature and family life that reveal the poem's beauty and complexity.
Below is a brief excerpt of the poem. Check out the video for more!
Questions My Son Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Him
1. Do gorillas have birthdays?
Yes. Like the rainbow, they happen.
Like the air, they are not observed.
2. Do butterflies make a noise?
The wire in the butterfly's tongue
Some men hear butterflies
even in winter.
3. Are they part of our family?
They forgot us, who forgot how to fly.