The favourite sloth

Some ideas are just so good that they should be built on and expanded indefinitely. In 1997 the then American poet laureate founded the Favorite Poem Project asking people in the US to submit their favourite poems. 18,000 people from ages 5 to 97 wrote in and from those submissions an anthology and a video collection were prepared. Have a look at to see some of the videos. My favourite “favorite poem” so far is “The Sloth”  by Theodore Roethke read by a young lady who was a 5th grader at the time and gives a rousing performance and also gives a number of good reasons to like poetry.
As I said, some ideas should be expanded indefinitely: I would like to see this project become a universal one with favourite poems recited in Hausa and Farsi and from inhabitants of Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Mars and Venus. Or also why not “Favourite Tree”, “Favourite Music”, “Favourite Saying” or “Favourite Insect.
Here is Katherine Mechling’s rendition of the Sloth, followed by the text fo the poem:


In moving-slow he has no Peer.

You ask him something in his Ear,

He thinks about it for a Year;

And, then, before he says a Word

There, upside down (unlike a Bird),

He will assume that you have Heard –

A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug.

But should you call his manner Smug,

Hell sigh and give his Branch a Hug;

Then off again to Sleep he goes,

Still swaying gently by his Toes,

And you just know he knows he knows.

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