My book spine poem for NPM 2017:
She walks in beauty
A jar of tiny stars
Awakening the heart
Opening a door
House of light
Pass the poetry, please!
Continuing my alphabetic stroll
through National Poetry Month
with a focus on two books
and one poet.
I've tried hard to use books from my own shelves this month. On initial scanning of my shelves, Rain Song by Lezlie Evans was the only title I spotted that began with the letter R. It's a wonderful rhythmic paean to what happens after the rain spoils the fun for two girls playing outside. I picked it up at Half-Price Books more than a decade ago. When you live in the Pacific NW and your weather forecast looks like this . . .
you desperately need books that end on a cheerful note like this one does, "How we love the song of rain!"
And then I scanned my shelves again and spotted this favorite anthology, Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle . . . And Other Modern Verse. This book of "modern verse" was published in 1966. I used it in my student teaching during the 70s. I continued to use it in my classroom when I returned to teaching middle school in the 21st century. And modern students of today still love this book of poems! Multiple green sticky notes peeking out the top attest to the number of poems the last student who read this book loved and wanted to share with me. If you've never read this anthology, request it from your library (hopefully, it hasn't been discarded). Three of my favorites are "Summons" by Robert Francis, "Oz." by Eve Merriam, and "Crossing" by Philip Booth. But there are many, many more to love in this delightful anthology.
I scanned the bins of books I've checked out for Books, Brownies, and Beyond (our after school book club) and spotted Bob Raczka's, Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. It's perfect for active boys (and girls) who think they don't like poetry. The short haiku, arranged by seasons and illustrated by Peter Reynolds, are the perfect length for students who want to get back to tree climbing and kite flying. You may want to check out other poetry titles by Bob Raczka, especially the delightful wordplay in Lemonade and Other Things Squeezed from a Single Word.