Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 19, 2012

The Poetry Friday Anthology

The Poetry Friday Anthology was the dream child of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, who have compiled other great collections. In the introduction, they advocate reading poetry first and foremost for pleasure, but also point out ways reading poetry fulfills the Common Core standards for kindergarten through grade 5. Each poem is accompanied by five discussion questions, which relate to language arts skills, personal experiences, or comparisons to other poems. I love how easy this makes it for teachers to add poetry the day, providing enough poems for five minutes on each Friday of the school year. These poems are written by dozens of well-known poets, and many are full of humor and enchanting twists, providing ways for students to bond over the language, the topics, and some original silliness. You can see samples on the Poetry Friday Blog.

I’m happy to have two poems included. Here’s one followed by a picture of an inspiration (which Peter took when we were walking a few days ago).

Good Dog! Bad Dog!

Good dog never wakes us up.

Yip! Bad dog jumps on the bed.

Good dog shakes for a biscuit.

Bad dog snitches jam and bread.


Good dog chews dog toys.

Bad dog chews the chair.

Good dog comes when called.

Bad dog doesn’t care.


Good dog snuggles by my feet.

Bad dog steals my heart.

No, that’s our good dog!

Some days we can’t tell them apart.


Copyright © 2012 Jeannine Atkins. All rights reserved.

For Poetry Friday links, please visit Irene Latham at Live Your Poem, where she’s featuring a collaborative zoo poem (I wrote a goat couplet) to celebrate her new novel. which has a zoo setting: Don’t Feed the Boy.



  1. Hah, I love that! I was thinking of my ginger cat, substituting all the naughty things he does and when your poem ended the way it did, I was just coming to the same conclusion. 🙂

    • I guess that’s the inevitable conclusion. Happy that you could read your cat’s story within an ode to my dog.

  2. Oh that is just gorgeous! I was just thinking today, when my Cocoa snaffled up some food off the pavement , and then waited beautifully for me outside a shop, how I seem to be saying Bad dog, Good dog almost in the same breath fairly regularly at the moment, and how she just looks at you and makes you laugh wile you say Bad Dog! Your poem is perfect!

    • Thank you, Marjorie! Very impressive that waiting for you outside a shop! And I’m sure that food on the pavement smelled too heavenly to resist!

  3. Love it! We have one of these as well…thank goodness!

    • Yes, one is thankful for these darlings, with their mix of good and bad.

  4. Yah! I love it!

  5. Really, Jeannine: this poem is about MY dog, I’m sure of it!

    The fact that so many of us are having an “Aha!” moment makes me certain that this poem will become a classic. Actually, I can really see it as a picture book for the very young that new parents will receive as gifts because CHILDREN are this way too, aren’t they?!

  6. P.S.: I just let our “GooddogBaddog” in the house. She could flop down anywhere in this whole house, but here she is, five feet from my nose, sharing her “perfume”–wet wool smell (or worse), inspiring this verse:

    Good dog smells like sun-crisped leaves.
    Bad dog smells like . . . funk.

    Good dog plays with her honeycomb ball.
    Did bad dog play with a . . . skunk?

    • Thanks, Janet. I suppose we are all this way, though few of us reach the goodness that dogs can manage at their best wide-eyed, tail-wagging moments. My daughter has a little dog that bolts into her arms, or sometimes crashes against her knees, when she gets home. I’m so pleased I inspired poetry from you, though I know it’s always close to your lips. We’ll go with the wet dog smell, but fortunately we’ve had few skunk encounters. Porcupines, sadly, are another story.

  7. Hi, Jeannine, thanks so much for the lovely plug– and for sharing your poems for our anthology. I agree with everyone that your good dog/bad dog paradox is such a fun and relatable poem– sure to be a big hit!

    • Dearest Sylvia, thank you! And sending warm thoughts your way.

  8. We had such fun in my classroom the week your poem was featured in 5th grade! Did your ears burn that week to have kids from all across the country sharing your poem? Mine did this week — my poem was the week 8 poem in Kindergarten, and it tickles me to think about all those little voices tweedling and jaying!

    • Mary Lee, my ears did not burn, so thank you for giving me that peek into your classroom! Dogs do teach us so much! I’m glad your ears were burning. I do like to think of those little ones crying, “Jay-jay-jay!” and yes tweeding, too. What a fun book!

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