EXCERPT: 'Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies'

Read an excerpt from Julie Andrews' and Emma Walton Hamilton's new book.

ByABC News via logo
September 28, 2009, 2:27 PM

Oct. 7, 2009— -- Julie Andrews, of "Mary Poppins" fame, and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, offer their most loved poems, songs and lullabies in this varied collection. James McMullan's watercolor paintings add color to the volume of 150 works. Find classics and new favorites from Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others.

"Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies" has plenty of other personal touches. Andrews and Hamilton lend their animated voices to 21 of the poems on the accompanying CD. In addition, the authors wrote several of the selected poems themselves.

After reading the excerpt below, head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.

So much of my life has been about music, which is perhaps why I'm always aware of the natural music in poetry. I'm also drawn to the words and meanings in a song, and I feel that many lyrics are poems in themselves. For me, it's so hard to separate the two that I chose to make this collection embrace both.

If you think about it, poems are the first things we learn and remember as children…

A, B, C, D, E, F, G —H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P…

It rhymes, and has a certain rhythm and music to it—so it captures our ear.

Think about:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are?


Rain, rain, go away, Come again another day!

Those early sing-song poems begin the journey toward a love of poetry. I think of a poem as a gift, one that teaches us about the wonder of our world or captures a moment or feeling that we may never have recognized until it was voiced for us.

Poems make us think. They make us feel or smile and understand more about ourselves. We look at the world a little differently after reading a poem, and we are the richer for it.

My father introduced me to poetry at a very young age. He loved to learn poems by heart and thought of them as beloved friends that he could call on whenever he needed. He bought me poetry books and read to me at bedtime, sharing his favorites—many of which are in this collection. Over the years, I've discovered my own favorites and passed them on to my children. I watch with pleasure as they now pass the tradition to my grandchildren.

I've tried my hand at writing poetry from time to time. It often helps to clarify the way I feel. In our family we write poems for each other as gifts, and because of its power to say exactly the right thing at the right time, we use poetry at important moments in our lives—celebrations, holidays, memorials, special events.

Compiling this book has been a joy. My daughter Emma, with whom I co-author so many books in the Julie Andrews Collection, has been the perfect partner to bring our family favorites together. We have even discovered some new favorites. It shouldn't have come as a surprise (but it always did) when time and again we found that our choices were identical, and that the themes of nature, the arts, optimism, laughter, and respect for the world around us kept resurfacing.

This is a collection of our "favorite things" -- and we hope that you find as much delight in these pages as we've experienced in putting them together.

— Julie Andrews

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