James Berry - Children's Poems

Image by Caroline Forbes

Isn't my name magical?

Isn't My Name Magical?

Nobody can see my name on me.
My name is inside
and all over me, unseen
like other people also keep it.
Isn't my name magic?

My name is mine only.
It tells I am individual,
the one special person it shakes
when I'm wanted.

If I'm with hundreds of people
and my name gets called,
my sound switches me on to answer
like it was my human electricity.
Isn't that magical?

My name echoes across playground,
it comes, it demands my attention.
I have to find out who calls,
who wants me for what.
My name gets blurted out in class,
it is a terror, at a bad time,
because somebody is cross.

My name gets called in a whisper
I am happy, because
my name may have touched me
with a loving voice.
Isn't it all magic?

from Only One of Me (Macmillan, 2004), copyright © James Berry 2004, used by permission of the author.


James Berry - Children's Poems

James Berry Reading from his poems for children

1Caribbean Playground Song

2Jamaican Song

3Childhood Tracks

4Seeing Granny

5Rain Friend

6Trick a Duppy

7Everyday Music


9Earthworm and Fish

10A Nest Full of Stars

11Isn't my name magical?

12A Story about Afiya

13When I Dance

14The Barkday Party

15Action Images

16Scribbled Notes...

17The Adding Up of Birthdays

18Somewhere! Somewhere!

19Wild Whistling Woman

20Skeleton Sisters

21The Quarrel


23Singing with Recordings

24Postcard Poem: Solo

25Duppy Dance

26Getting Bigger Rap

27Mek Drum Talk, Man

28People Equal

29What Do We Do with a Variation?

30Okay, Brown Girl, Okay

31Everywhere Faces Everywhere

32Teach the Making of Summer

33Listn Big Brodda Dread, Na!

34Innercity Youth Walks and Talks

35The Boy-Don Rap

36A Toast for Everybody Who is Growin

37Gobble-Gobble Rap

38Light Fabric

39Bye Now

40Goodbye Now