Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poetic Thursday

I don't get around to reviewing too much poetry - in part because I don't receive much of it and the other part because I've never been a huge fan of poetry myself and don't tend to search for it for my daily reviews! However, today, I have two poetry titles awaiting review, so enjoy - I think it's a pretty good selection!

Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple.
Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People.

August 2009.

The mother/daughter team of Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple reaches out to mothers and daughters alike, as they introduce a new way for the two to connect and "talk" with each other about emotions and feelings in this new book of poetry dedicated to mothers and daughters everywhere. The book is seemingly most appropriate for preteens and teenage girls, but could probably be used with those on the brink of adolescence, as well!
Writing a poem about a problem that you're having allows you to break down the emotion into small enough parts so that you can deal with it. Communicating with a parent in this way sometimes can be more helpful than talking.
None of these poems is about an actual event. But each one is about a problem we have wrestled with as daughters, as mothers. And maybe - just maybe - you will recognize yourself, too.
-J.Y. and H.E.Y.S
What I enjoyed most about the book and can see being used almost as a sort of therapy for mothers and daughters is the idea that the poems shared are actually presented as a form of communication - mother writes a poem to daughter, daughter responds to it voicing her feelings and vice versus. I've decided to share with you two of my favorite sets (scanned, so you can see how the poems are arranged), in hopes that you'll see the ways in which this book could benefit you and your daughter (now or someday in the future)!

This first poem set will make you chuckle, as it focuses on one of the more frivolous topics that will lead to a mother/daughter debate, in which emotions could quickly lead to a full scale argument, given the discussion take place face-to-face. However, given the option of communicating via poems, you can see a more light-hearted side that would make prove to be more effective in resolving the issue.

My second selection shows an entirely different form or mother/daughter communication, in that it is dealing with a very tender topic - death of a grandmother (loved one in general) in which both parties will likely hold back their emotions due to the grief they are both experiencing. However, as I've quickly learned, you may feel ashamed to be dealing with such grief (as it makes you look like a "baby"), but others are likely feeling the exact same way and the two of you will be able to help each other out!

Now, if those two poem selections didn't convince you, the book probably isn't for you!

San Jose, Christine and Bill Johnson.
Every Second Something Happens: Poems for the Mind and Sense.

August 2009.


This book is loaded full of poetry from people of all ages (2-?). It shows that no matter your age, you can create poetry! You don't have to be specially trained. Poetry is in the the noises you hear, what you see, the things that you feel... it's all around you and you don't even have to have any special talents in creating it!

This is what what makes this book more than appropriate to use as an introduction to poetry. For some reason, children seem to think that their poems have to rhyme and poetry is so much more than rhyming - this book allows them to see that! The depth of the poetry shared in this book will help children open up to the idea that they, too, can create amazing poetry... I've chosen a few samples to share with you, so you have the opportunity to see what I mean by "depth." You could be considered one of the most famous playwrights of all time:
How far that little candle
throws his beams!
So shines a good deed
in a naughty world.
-William Shakespeare
Or you could be a two-year old, sharing your spoken word with an adult:
My shadow is hiding
In the darkness.
The moon will give it back to me,
Because it's so bright.
-Ted Schroeder, Age 2
Or, you just may be a clever seven-year old, making a connection of all living things to the Earth:
I am a red apple in a tree.
I am a robin singing in the sky.
I am a tapping noise of the rain.
I am a horse running free.
I am a shooting star in the night.
I am snow falling from the sky.

I am the Earth. I am alive.
-Kyle Marra, Age 7
Or maybe a five-year old, recognizing for the first time how a birthday means the end of one age and the start of another!
Today is my last day of being five.
I ahve one more day to think fively thoughts.
-Olivia Smith, Age 5
Or you might find that someday, your poetry plays a role in you career as an author like Eileen Spinelli!
Summer Twilight
Supper's over
Chores are done
Front porch swims
In setting sun
Rockers beckon
Tea is cold
Children gather
Good as gold
Eight o'clock
The house clocks chime.
Grandpa says:
It's story time.
-Eileen Spinelli
No matter your age, or what you do, you can become a poet - this book proves it!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to