Friday, October 30, 2015

Classic Spooky Poems to Read By the Fire

*Hist Whist by e. e. cummings.
hist whist
little ghostthings

Not too long, this is a great poem to get really dramatic with.  The full text of the poem can be found here.

*Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley.

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about...

Published in picture book form as The Gobble-Uns 'll Git You Ef You Don't Watch Out! (Lippincott, 1975), and illustrated by Joel Schick.  The full text of the poem can be found here.

*Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti.
Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,

Recently re-released with Arthur Rackham's original illustrations. Long, and most suitable for ages 10+. The full text can be found here.

Theme in Yellow by Carl Sandburg.

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins...

Short and suitable for all ages.  The full text can be found here.

Batty by Shel Silverstein.

The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
'Turn on the dark,
I'm afraid of the light.'

Very short and suitable for all ages.  Pair it with Theme in Yellow, above.

*Not suitable for children under the age of eight.


  1. Loved reading the poetry for Halloween. It reminded me that my Father always read me "Little Orphant Annie" for obvious reasons!

    1. I hadn't thought of that. Have a great All Hallows Eve!