Skip to main content

A New Anthology of Poems About Objects

I recently purchased this anthology of poems about objects from the Sun Book Shop in Yarraville. It supports the notion that ideas exist in things. I believe it would make a meaningful addition to a school's poetry resources. I can envision a resourceful teacher of poetry using student owned and cherished artifacts to inspire young writers to launch their own poetry from these treasures.

To further assist readers to appraise this collection of poems I have added an abridged addition of a review by Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale NY. Carole's review provides a comprehensive overview of this book.

'Poet Paul Janeczko has joined with illustrator Raschka to create this anthology of poetry for young people. The 50 selections are arranged in nine sections, each representing a different time period, from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The common thread is objects. The title poem discusses the demise of hat wearing in our society, while others take on such varied objects as ships, shadows, candles, stars, trees, cats and even stamp albums and manhole covers. Included are familiar offerings (e.g., Emily Dickinson's "The Railway Train," Robert Louis Stevenson's "My Shadow," and Robert Burns's "A Red, Red Rose"), as well some lesser known works. An in-depth introduction provides welcome context and explains how the examples were chosen from Janeczko's personal collection of more than 1,500 books. 
Although the poems are mostly representative of Western literature, readers will find some examples of Eastern poetry. Women are also represented, such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Christina Rossetti, and Sylvia Plath. 
Raschka's lively, vibrant watercolors frame the text, enhancing and imbuing the poems with life.  This award-winning pair have once again delivered a book to be celebrated. 
Though the subject matter makes this most appropriate for younger readers, this anthology may also find a home with older readers. 
An excellent addition to any collection.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY.'

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Opposite Poems

Opposite Poems


In his book, 'How To Write Poetry,' Paul Janeczko presents the idea of opposite poems. Paul suggests they could also be referred to as antonym poems. This is wordplay and it's fun to try.

Here are some examples Paul provides to help us see very clearly how these short little poems work.

I think the opposite of chair
Is sitting down with nothing there

What is the opposite of kind?
A goat that butts you from behind

Paul Janeczko

You will  notice the poems are written in rhyming couplets. They can be extended so long as you remember to write in couplets. Paul shows us how this is done.

What is the opposite of new?
Stale gum that's hard to chew
A hot-dog roll as hard as rock
Or a soiled and smelly forgotten sock

You might notice that some of Paul's opposite Poems begin with a question. The remainder of the poem answer the question posed.

Opposite poems are a challenge, but it is a challenge worth trying. Not every thing has an opposite and not every word has an easy t…

List Poems Are Easy To Like

A list poem is one of the easiest kinds of poems to write because it doesn't require a set rhythm or rhyme. But that doesn't mean you should write anything down helter- skelter.

Consider the inclusion of the following elements to make a list poem a poem instead of just a list:

• The writer is telling you something--pointing something out--saying, "Look at this," or, "Think about this."
• There's a beginning and end to it, like in a story.
• In other words, the poem needs to make sense and have some kind of flow to it.

List poems provide an easy and successful structure to get children feeling more comfortable with poetry. They are to be found in the poetry of many cultures and have been employed successfully by many contemporary poets.

Poetry is full of surprises. List also need to be full of surprises. Without the occasional surprise your list poems will have all the appeal of a supermarket shopping list on a day when you don't want to go shopping!

Here …

Ottava Rima Poem

Today I've gone Italian with an Ottava Rima poem. An Ottava Rima is a poetic form made up of eight lines that rhyme. Each line consists of eleven syllables.The Ottava Rima in its current form was first created by the Italian poet, Giovanni Boccaccio. It is based on a poetic form then used in Sicily, incorporating an alternating rhyming scheme throughout its eight lines. The double rhyme in the last two verses was introduced later on.

An Ottava Rima poem is made up of an octave with the rhyme pattern:
ab
ab
ab
cc

This poem presented an interesting challenge, but then again a challenge is a good thing for a poet. I kept returning to it across a couple of weeks. 

Distancing myself from the words allowed me to return with a clearer vision about what my poem needed in order to settle. Sometimes making a poem is akin to working with Lego pieces. When the word arrangement works, you hear everything click into place. 

Some tinkering and line movement proved quite useful in the end. I would recomm…