Poetry: There is a Land – Leland B. Jacobs

Leland B. Jacobs was an American professor of education. He got a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, followed by a PhD and then went on to teach elementary, junior and high school in rural Michigan. He was even an elementary school principal for a while, and he also taught at university training new teachers of literature. But what he was most known for was his work teaching literature at Columbia University. His speciality was showing future teachers how to encourage children to read and discover the world through books. He retired as a Professor Emeritus and continued to teach and guest-lecture afterwards.

He has (co)written many books and articles on language, reading and teaching. He also published poetry for children in books, reading series and professional magazines. And finally, he was also a columnist. This poem comes from Good Books, Good Times, a poem anthology compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins. It clearly spells out why reading is important: it’s the land of fantasy where people (in this case mostly children) can go to live the most marvellous adventures and discover the most amazing things.

There is a Land
Leland B. Jacobs (1990)

There is a land –
A marvellous land –
Where trolls and giants dwell;
Where witches
With their bitter brew
Can cast a magic spell;
Where mermaids sing,
Where carpets fly,
Where, in the midst of night,
Brownies dance
To cricket tunes;
And ghosts, all shivery and white,
Prowl and moan.
There is a land
Of magic folks and deeds,
And anyone
Can visit there
Who reads and reads and reads.

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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