For this month’s Poetry magazine issue, Lemony Snicket selects 20 poems for a feature called “All Good Slides Are Slippery: Poetry Not Written for Children That Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy.” He begins, “The poems contained in this children’s poetry portfolio are not made for children. Poetry is like a curvy slide in a playground — an odd object, available to the public — and, as I keep explaining to my local police force, everyone should be able to use it, not just those of a certain age.”
The feature is accompanied by illustrations from acclaimed violinist and children’s book illlustrator, Chris Raschka (author of the darkly humorous Arlene Sardine), and includes poems by Carl Sandburg, John Ashbery, and Richard Brautigan, amongst others.
Regarding Eileen Myles’ poem called “Uppity,” Snicket comments, “’Uppity’ refers to someone who acts as if they are more important than they are, as in the sentence ‘Is it uppity of Lemony Snicket, who is not a poet and knows very little about poetry, to edit his own poetry portfolio?’”
We’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Photo: Daniel Handler, Mr. Snicket’s official representative, by Tausif Noor