The Penguin by Oliver Herford
The penguin sits upon the shore
and loves the little fish to bore.
He has one enervating joke
that would a very saint provoke:
"The pen-guin's mightier than the sword-fish."
He tells this daily to the bored fish
until they are so weak they float
without resistance down his throat.
Lost in the Cold by Anonymous
When a penguin got lost at Peng. Station,
She was told at South Pole Information,
"Next stop: Icy Pool,
After that Supercool,
Then Eternal Refrigeration."
The polar bear is unaware
Of cold that cuts me through:
For why? He has a coat of hair.
I wish I had one too!
The Polar Bear and Penguin
Never will be friends;
They each reside at frozen Poles,
but at the opposite ends.
I would I were
a Polar bear!
Far better it would be;
for then you know
this frost and snow
Would just about suit me!
Now as it is,
My human phiz,
Is almost past all feeling;
My cheeks are "froze,"
Blue is my nose,
My lips are cracked and peeling.
My biped legs
Like wooden pegs,
Are stiff and numb and stumpy;
While nothing thaws
My frozen paws;
Oh dear! I feel so grumpy!
Had I a skin
With fur set in,
A coat of shining hair;
I should not mind
This cutting wind,
I would I were a bear!
The Arctic moon hangs overhead;
The wide white silence lies below.
A starveling pine stands lone and gaunt,
Black penciled on the snow.
Weird as the moan of sobbing winds,
A lone long call floats up from the trail;
And the naked soul of the frozen North
Trembles in that wail.
The Smile of the Walrus is wild and distraught,
And tinged with pale purples and greens,
Like the Smile of a Thinker who thinks a Great Thought
And isn't quite sure what it means.
An Arctic Hare by Oliver Herford
An Arctic Hare we now behold.
The hair, you will observe, is white;
But if you think the Hare is old,
You will be very far from right.
The Hare is young, and yet the hair
Grew white in but a single night.
Why, then it must have been a scare
That turned this Hare. No, 'twas not fright.
(Although such cases are well known);
I fear that once again you're wrong.
Know then, that in the Arctic Zone
A single night is six months long.
When the Sun Shines on Antarctica: And Other Poems about the Frozen Continent by Irene Latham, illustrated by Anna Wadham
One of the very best educational online resources I've found for learning about the Polar regions is a website called Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears. It's absolutely loaded with fantastic goodies for teachers and students.