What's your favorite childhood poem?
Why is it that the simple poems one learns by heart in childhood somehow always remain with us, just under the surface of our consciousness? What is it about us that makes them special? The curators of the Fall exhibit in Special Collections and University Archives, entitled "My Infant Head: The History of Children's Poetry," want to know, and we want you to help by reading or reciting one or two of the poems of your childhood.
The curators of "My Infant Head" are requesting that all members of the Libraries and the Rutgers community make a short recording (no longer than 4 minutes in duration) of themselves reading their favorite children's poem. All of the recordings will be combined into a childhood poetic soundscape that will extend the exhibit space in the Special Collections Gallery and remain for the full term of the exhibit. The Children's Poetic Soundscape Project has been conceptualized to demonstrate the importance of sound structures to children's poetry, to point out that, whether one thinks of lullabies, nursery rhymes or nonsense, children's poetry is initially an oral medium, and to connect the visual and aural dimensions for visitors to the exhibit.
The curators also hope this invitation will draw a broadly inclusive range of responses to emphasize the universality of children's poetry and to suggest how it seems to bind us together as a communitas, a culture and a people. With this idea in mind, the recorded poems will also be made available as a podcast for anyone who cannot attend the exhibit or wishes to extend the gallery experience.
Some Technical Details:
Posted June 24, 2008; June 30, 2008; August 5, 2008