Sunday, April 20, 2008

Poetry in the Classroom - Books and Reading

The first poem I ever read about a book was in middle school, when I read this piece by Emily Dickinson.
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
Today you can fnd a number of poetry books about books and reading.

Please Bury Me in the Library, written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Kyle M. Stone, is a collection of 15 poems (16 if you count the Acknowledgements) on books and reading. The poems are full of word play and range from serious to whimsical. The poems also come in a variety of forms. The first poem, What If Books Had Different Names?, is one of my favorites. It begins with these lines.
What if books had different names
Like Alice in . . . Underland?
Furious George,
Goodnight Noon,
Babar the Beaver, and
A Visit from Saint Tickle Us,
Wouldn't it be fun for students to re-imagine some of their favorite books in this way?

Good Books, Good Times, written by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Harvey Stevenson, contains poems by Karla Kuskin, X.J. Kennedy, Myra Cohn Livingston, Jack Prelutsky and more. The title of the book comes from a poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins. It begins this way.
Good Books, Good Times!
Good books.
Good times.
Good stories.
Good rhymes.
Good beginnings.
Good ends.
Good people.
Good friends.
Another poem from the book that speaks to the adventures to be found in reading is by David McCord. Here is an excerpt.

Books Fall Open
Books fall open,
you fall in,
delighted where
you've never been;
hear voices not once
heard before,
reach world on world
through door on door;
find unexpected
keys to things
locked up beyond
If you'd like to know more about this book, you can view an excerpt.

Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, written by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Karen Barbour, contains 15 poems that celebrate the joy of words and language. Poets in this collection include Karla Kuskin, Emily Dickinson, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Eve Merriam, Nikki Grimes, and others. Here are a few short excerpts.
Words Free as Confetti
by Pat Mora
Come, words, come in your every color
I'll toss you in storm or breeze
I'll say, say, say you,
taste you sweet as plump plums,
bitter as old lemons.
I'll sniff you, words, warm
as almonds or tart as apple-red,
feel you green
and soft as new grass,

by Eve Merriam
Morning is
A new sheet of paper
For you to write on.

Whatever you want to say,
All day,
Until night
Folds it up
And files it away.

Here are some additional resources that may help you think a bit more about this topic.

1 comment:

  1. Tricia,

    Congratulations! You have won a children's poetry book from Wild Rose Reader in this Sunday's drawing.