On Understanding Children’s Literature

A wisely crafted tale invites its reader or listener, young and old, to inquire what good might be learned from the tale.

Fairy Tales Castle - A Good Read In The Tales That Came Before

On Understanding Children's Literature
by Michael Doyle

The stories we have heard from childhood
Are the classics of morality teaching good
And the very best needed to be understood
There is much to learn and enjoy as we should

As Jesus knew, truth comes best in tale
Parables, fables and such do so very well
In teaching by metaphor all that we see
Whether works of fiction or profound history

Aristotle's Poetics drives its points of history
That while they are important do not touch poetry
Because that license allows for near perfection
Sharpened and shaped for our worthy detection

The creation of other worlds brings us to place
Places that we might never be, but, need to embrace
Telling us the things of what can be and never be
And yet point out the depths of missed reality

The truths met by most are perhaps for the first time
And yet these truths in their marvel lead to the sublime
This then draws the mind in its very attention
And in so doing, this then fosters the heart's retention

It is not and could never be a blunder
That God has blessed children with a sense of wonder
It is true that the awe and wonder become the yearning
That serves as the force for the deepest learning

We can learn the things needed on smaller scale
Where the magic steadily allows the good to prevail
It's not so much a matter of hocus pocus
But in bringing the good things more into focus

It is not really a matter of escapism but true liberation
When you can see into the worlds of imagination
The prison of our own making and sterility
Knows nothing of the passages of nobility 

The sum of darkness in a children's story
Brings it around to lessons without being gory
Simply and clearly is how a tale must be told
It is the learning of imitation as it unfolds

There in the first acts of truly understanding
Presented as these are as not too demanding
Life in all its imposing bits of limitation
Does well to allow for this initiation

Like all art, a children's story aims for good
The good is that which all things aim to be understood
Every work of literature is an open inquiry
Seeking after that good to understand its legacy

Education is not something that we do to the other
It is something we do together with one another
Children are endowed with the want and will to know
It is from this knowledge that they think and grow

(c) June 9, 2020  Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved

An African Sunset Glows


About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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