At the beginning of the twentieth century, the number of poets whose works were intended solely for children was relatively small. At the century's end, poetry and verse for children is a burgeoning field, the roster of children's poets long and growing. Some critics find little merit in the genre, preferring that children be introduced instead to the works of acknowledged “great” poets. This essay explores, among related ideas, such questions as these: In today's abundance of children's verse, is there genuine poetry? What do critics and poets consider to be genuine poetry? Where do the children themselves stand on the subject of poetry?
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