by Kenn Nesbitt
Phoenix came from Dallas.
Dallas came from Austin.
Austin came from Lowell.
Lowell came from Boston.
Carolina came from Georgia.
Georgia’s from Savannah.
Savannah came from Jackson.
Jackson’s from Montana.
Virginia came from Maryland.
Mary’s from Dakota.
Dakota’s from Saint Paul.
And Paul’s from Minnesota.
Madison is from Cheyenne.
Cheyenne is from Nebraska.
I wonder where the teacher’s from?
I think maybe Alaska.
Copyright © 2004 Kenn Nesbitt. From the book When the Teacher Isn’t Looking. Meadowbrook Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.
I visit a lot of schools each year and talk to a lot of kids. A few years back I began to notice that it was becoming more and more common for parents to name their kids after cities and states. More boys were being named Austin, Dakota, and even Utah, while girls were getting names like Savannah, Cheyenne, and Madison. It struck me that this would be a perfect topic for a poem, and that I might even be able to incorporate a little wordplay into it, something I always love to do when I can.
Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt is the author of many books for kids, including Kiss, Kiss Good Night, My Hippo Has the Hiccups, Revenge of the Lunch Ladies, and many others. His poems have appeared in numerous bestselling anthologies, including every book in the popular Kids Pick the Funniest Poems series, and anthologies with nearly two million copies in print. His work has been published in hundreds of school textbooks around the world, as well as national television programs, and numerous children’s magazines. Kenn travels the country, visiting over 60 schools each year, sharing his wacky brand of poetry with kids nationwide, and helping to create a new generation of poetry lovers. His website, poetry4kids.com, is the most visited children’s poetry website on the Internet.
I know several kids with “place” names. What fun!
Hi Kenn, This is such fun. We can hope that it also represents an interest among parents in geography, too! We know A Carolina who is a junior ballerina outside Boston & her younger sister Dakotah, who is a young artist. You have identified something that is worth pursuing more. Florida, where my hubby & I live, isn’t a child’s name I’ve come across. But let me know, if you do & can take a minute to pass that along.
Jan, Florida may not be a child’s first name, but Orlando certainly is (not to mention Perry, Stuart, Lee, Madison, Jasper, Hernando, Dania, Brandon, Davie, Milton, etc.). And, of course, there’s always Flo Rida the rapper.
This is a lovely list, thank you Ken.
I would also add Lulu (Lulu, Florida)
I am from Chicago and my class likes your poetry
A great poem. Well written. All his poems are well written. That’s why he’s my favorite poet.