I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a colour slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Billy Collins, 1988
If you are looking for some good poetry for children aged 5-12 years here is an excellent recent list Some would suit older readers, and 'Wayling' is certainly for older readers. The Centre for Excellence in Primary Education (CLPE) has an annual award for poetry written for children. This UK charity promotes the effective teaching of children’s literacy and emphasises the importance of children’s literature. The award is presented annually, usually in July, for a book of poetry published in the preceding year. Here is the excellent shortlist.
Poems to Perform, Julia Donaldson (editor), illustrated by Clare Melinsky (Macmillan)
The Dragon with a Big Nose, by Kathy Henderson (Frances Lincoln)
Bookside Down, by Joanne Limburg (Salt Publishing)
Wayland. The Tale of the Smith from the Far North, by Tony Mitton, illustrated by John Lawrence (David Fickling Books)
Cosmic Disco, by Grace Nichols, illustrated by Alice Wright (Frances Lincoln)