Special Event: Robert Forbes Inspires Young Poets

Happy Earth Day everyone! As a part of our celebration here at the New-York Historical Society we asked our families to write poems about animals and other things we love here on Earth.

We were inspired by our special guest, Robert Forbes, who joined us yesterday in the beautiful Klingenstein Library to share his poems about animals.

Mr. Forbes read poems that address the most pressing animal questions! Who will win the inchworm sprint? Will the egret find his way out? Why is the lizard not fussy?

We had other pressing questions as well: “Why are the animals wearing clothes?” asked one young audience member. While someone else wondered if it was because they were cold, Mr. Forbes explained how he loves to use his imagination when writing poems, and Ronald Searle the illustrator, also uses his imagination when drawing the animals. All of Mr. Forbes’ poems were illustrated by Ronald Searle. After Mr. Forbes wrote his poems, he would send them to Mr. Searle and await the results. He would send back a big package filled with drawings that brought Mr. Forbes’ poems to life.

One parent asked if Mr. Forbes ever changed a poem after he saw an illustration. Mr. Forbes answered that he thought Mr. Searle was so good at bringing his imaginative poems to life, that he has never altered his words.

At the event, we had a poetry wall where adults and children could write and post some of their own work. Do you have a poem you’d like to share? You can write a poem at home and bring it in for free kids’ admission by downloading the form here.

Let’s see what our young poets contributed to our Poetry Wall on Sunday…


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