Po-Po-Poetry: Honey, I Love 2

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am kick off a series of poetry posts by featuring Honey, I love by Eloise Greenfield with illustrations by Diane and Leo Dillon in the original and 25th anniversary editions.   

 I discovered the book and met Ms. Greenfield in 1979, when she was a speaker at the Third World Children’s Book and Film Festival that I planned with Judy Richardson.  She has published more than 30 children’s books. More recently, the poem has been published by itself without the other poems and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist.

It is one of my favorite children’s poems. I have read it so many times to my children and to my granddaughter that  I can still recite it verbatim; it’s deep it is in my marrow.  I have gifted it numerous times to parents of newborns.  It is a joyous celebration of Black joy, Black girl, joy, Black family joy with spot-on cultural mirrors.

Honey, I love by Eloise Greenfield.

I love

I love a lot of things, a whole lot of things


My cousin comes to visit and you know he’s from the south

‘cause every word he says just kind of slides of out his mouth

I like the way he whistles and I like the way he talks

But, honey, let me tell you that I LOVE the way he talks

       I love the way my cousin talks


The day is hot and icky and the sun sticks to my skin

Mr. Davis turns the hose on everybody jumps right in

The water stings my stomach and I feel so nice and cool

Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE a flying pool

     I love to feel a flying pool


Renee comes out to play and brings her doll without a dress

I make a dress with paper and that doll sure looks a mess

We laugh so loud and long and hard

The doll falls to the ground

Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE the laughing sound

    I love to make the laughing sound


My uncle’s car is crowded and there’s lot of food to eat

We’re going down the country where the church folks like to meet

I’m looking out the window at the car and trees outside

Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE to take a ride

I love to take a family ride


My mama’s on the sofa sewing button on my coat

I got and sit beside her, I’m through playing with my boat

I hold her arm and kiss it ‘cause it feels so soft and warm

Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE my mama’ arm

   I love to kiss my mama’s arm


It’s not so late at night but still I’m lying in my bed

I guess I need my rest at least that’s what my mama said

She told me not to cry, ‘cause she don’t want to hear a peep

Honey, let me tell you I DON’T LOVE to go to sleep

     I do not love to go to sleep

But I love

I love a lot of things, a whole lot of things

And, honey,

I love you, too*


Thank you, Ms. Greenfield, for the gift of beautiful poetry and books for children.

(* The original poem ends this way. The newest version, ends “I love ME, too.)

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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