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About this poet

Eve Merriam was a poet, playwright, director, and lecturer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 1916, she attended Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin, Columbia University, and has has taught and lectured at many other institutions. Her first book, Family Circle (1946), was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by Archibald MacLeish. In addition to her adult poetry, she also wrote picture books and a number of books of poetry for children, including There is No Rhyme for Silver (1964), It Doesn't Always Have to Rhyme (1964), The Inner City Mother Goose (1969), Catch a Little Rhyme (1966), Finding a Poem (1970), Out Loud (1973), and Rainbow Writing (1976). The controversial Inner City Mother Goose, which Merriam once referred to as "just about the most banned book in the country," was the basis for a 1971 Broadway musical, Inner City, and a second musical production, Street Dreams (1982), which was performed in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. In 1981, she was named the winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Eve Merriam died on April 11, 1992.

Lullaby

Eve Merriam, 1916 - 1992
Purple,
Purple,
Twilight
Sky light.

Purple as a king's cape
Purple as a grape.

Purple for the evening
When daylight is leaving.

Soft and purry,
Gentle and furry,
Velvet evening-time.

Purple,
Purple.
Sky light
Goodbye light.

Dusky
Musky
Into night.

From There is No Rhyme for Silver, published by Macmillan, 1964. Used with permission.

From There is No Rhyme for Silver, published by Macmillan, 1964. Used with permission.

Eve Merriam

Eve Merriam

Eve Merriam was a poet, playwright, director, and lecturer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,

by this poet

poem
Dot a dot dot dot a dot dot
Spotting the windowpane.

Spack a spack speck flick a flack fleck
Freckling the windowpane.

A spatter a scatter a wet cat a clatter
A splatter a rumble outside.

Umbrella umbrella umbrella umbrella
Bumbershoot barrel of rain.

Slosh a galosh slosh a galosh
Slither and slather a glide
poem
Once upon a time
I caught a little rhyme

I set it on the floor
but it ran right out the door

I chased it on my bicycle
but it melted to an icicle

I scooped it up in my hat
but it turned into a cat

I caught it by the tail
but it stretched into a whale

I followed it in a boat
but it changed into a goat

When