October 4, 2013

Poetry Friday--"Ducks' Ditty"

There aren't many ducks left here in New Hampshire at this time of year. If they're smart, they're all headed south.

To wish them well on their way, here's "Ducks' Ditty" by Kenneth Grahame, from the great children's classic, The Wind in the Willows.
All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all.

Ducks’ tails, drake’s tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight,
Busy in the river!

Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim--
Here we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.

Everyone for what he likes!
We like to be
Heads down, tails up,
Dabbling free!

High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call--
We are down a-dabbling,
Up tails all.

I can't think of a more musical poem! Have you been following The Mortimer Minute postings that have appeared over the past month? One of the questions that The Mortimer Minute originator, April Halprin Wayland, posed, got me thinking, "What children's poem do you wish you had written?"

I can say that "Ducks' Ditty" is definitely one!

Next week, I'll be participating in The Mortimer Minute. I was tagged by Julie Larios, who is answering questions this week at her blog. Part of the rules for The Mortimer Minute is to tag 1-3 bloggers. I've come up empty-handed. Everyone I've asked has already been tagged or cannot participate. If you'd like to play, please contact me dianemayrATdianemayrDOTcom, and I'll tag you for the fun on October 18.

Visit Dori at Dori Reads, for today's joyous poetry celebration!


  1. Thanks for this post. This was the first "proper" poem I ever learned aged 5, and I've loved it ever since.

  2. You have to wonder at the physics involved in getting those little duck butts up in the air!

  3. Fabulous rhythm -- a fun way to start my Friday! :-)

  4. Duck's Ditty has always been one of my favorites. Just fits!

  5. So much fun to read aloud--thanks for sharing it.

  6. I think it's unanimous--it's just a ducky poem! Thanks everyone for stopping by!

  7. I'm going to memorize this one for the next time I tuck my grandson into bed, Diane. Thanks! Hope you find a poet willing to do The Mortimer Minute after you (anyone who does the math will see that tagging two or three people who each tag two or three more who each tag a couple more etc. gets astronomical quickly!)

  8. Love it! Definitely something very apropos for our state this time of year.

  9. I love that repeating "Up tails, all"!!

  10. This is so playful and a bit defiant--thanks for sharing!