If You Catch a Firefly

By Lilian Moore 1909–2004 Lilian Moore
If you catch a firefly
            and keep it in a jar
You may find that
            you have lost
A tiny star.

If you let it go then,
            back into the night,
You may see it
            once again
Star bright.

Lilian Moore, “If You Catch a Firefly” from I Feel the Same Way (New York: Atheneum, 1967). Copyright © 1967 by Lilian Moore. All Rights Renewed and Reserved. Used by permission of Marian Reiner.

Source: A Jar of Tiny Stars (1995)

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Poet Lilian Moore 1909–2004

Subjects Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza


Lilian Moore is an editor, educator, poet, and self-styled yarn-spinner who played a significant role in children's literature during the mid-to late twentieth century. As the first editor of the newly established Scholastic's Arrow Book Club from 1957 to 1967, Moore pioneered the program that made quality paperback books accessible and affordable for elementary school children throughout the United States. In addition, she has . . .

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Poems by Lilian Moore

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SUBJECT Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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