Thursday, April 11, 2013

a bit of poetry.

As most of you most likely already know (but I'm going to tell you anyway) April is National Poetry Month.  This year I'd made a New Year's resolution to read a poem a day.  I haven't quite made it daily but I figure many days I've read more than one so it's probably come out about even so far.

I'll be sharing a few of my favorite poems throughout the rest of the month but I wanted to start off by sharing some new favorite collections to give you all some ideas for your own reading as the days tick on.  Maybe you'll discover a favorite or two for yourselves!

Most of these are cataloged as children's but even adults will find something to appreciate within the lines and stanzas.

When Thunder Comes  by J. Patrick Lewis
The poems in this collection are each dedicated to a different civil rights leader. The usual suspects (MLK, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi) make appearances but lesser-known names are introduced as well.  Internment Camp member Mitsuye Endo, Native American Dennis James Banks, Astronaut Ellison Onizuka and more lives all make for interesting reading.  Each poem is also illustrated by a different artist.  Lots of great info in this book.

I Haiku You by Betsy E. Snyder
A short picture book with sweet watercolor illustrations contains a bunch of haiku poems all declaring their love for someone/thing. A perfect little giftable tie-on for the love of your life!

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky by Jack Prelutsky
THE name in children's poetry (particularly humorous poetry) and the king of creature mash-ups (umbrellaphants, wiguanas, halibutterflies) has teamed with a spectacular illustrator for his latest edition of crazy creature verses. You almost believe that they're real, pinned into the pages like an old-fashioned album or naturalist's collection.

Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer
A companion to her earlier Mirror Mirror, Singer's reverso poems focus on fairy tales and their characters presented in an enchanting and clever way. Here's an example so you can see how it works.  (In the author's note in Mirror Mirror she shares this, the first reverso she'd ever written.)

A cat                                   Incomplete:
without                               A chair
a chair:                                without
Incomplete.                        a cat.

The others in her book are more lengthy which makes them all the more fascinating and would make a perfect jumping off point for a lesson on punctuation (it's amazing how she uses so many different kinds to help make her meaning change subtly.) 

Next week I'll be back with some more ideas and a few poems to enlighten your minds.  Because every day should have a bit of poetry in it. You'll thank me later, I promise!

 Any healthy man can go without food for two days--but not without poetry.
~Charles Baudelaire

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