Friday, September 05, 2008

Poetry Friday

It's Friday evening and the rain from Hanna has started. The DC area is under a tropical storm warning tomorrow, which is an unknown entity to me. I can handle tornado warnings and blizzard warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings, but... tropical storms? I'm thinking severe thunderstorm + tornado x 2? Maybe? Luckily, I live with a hurricane expert and he doesn't seem worried (although there is a gallon of water in my car because I have to go to work tomorrow. Hmmmm...)

Dear internets, I'll be fine. I'm just typing out loud here.

Anyway... here is my Poetry Friday entry.

Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial Jen Bryant

This is a novel in verse about the Scopes Monkey/Evolution trial. It has 9 narrators--mostly townspeople, plus a few observers. Each character has their own poetic voice and style. Even though, like many poetry novels, I'm wondering if deleting the line breaks would have made such a difference.

It's broken into several sections, each one starting with quotations from people involved in the trial. There is a epilogue explaining what happened with the historical personages, as well as the current issues with teaching evolution in our science classes. There is also a short author's note explaining why she did certain things (such as reporting styles and the use of the words colored and Negro). The book has a definite pro-evolution slant to it. The anti-evolution characters are shown as a little crazy and, often hypocritical. Or taking the stance for a reason that has nothing to do with the issues at hand.

Bryant's account of the trial is one where Scopes was really just arrested because the town elders wanted the media circus that would inevitably surround such a trial in an effort to increase tourism to Dayton. The best voices are those of the children--3 high school students and one African-American boy and how the trial changes them. Often, it's not so much about evolution, but just the contact with the so many new faces and ideas gets them thinking in new ways about their futures.

Full disclosure: Book provided by author.

Round up is at Wild Rose Reader. Check it out!

Hanna update: Dan just tied a flashlight to my belt, in case we lose power. He's placing other ones through out the house in strategic locations. We are nothing if not prepared.

Also, Storm Naming People? Hanna should have an H on it. I know this because in 2nd grade, I had to read a story called "Hannah is a Palindrome" in which the teacher wrote that on the board, and then got called down to the office, and so all the other kids started making fun of Hannah. The mean kids were led by a boy named Otto. Then Hannah looked up palindrome in the dictionary and wrote "Otto is a palindrome" on the board which shut him up right quick. And then the teacher came back and was really proud of her because it turns out she was about to write that before getting called away. And, in order for Hannah to be a palindrome? It needs 2 H's.


Kelly said...

Hang in there, Jennie! I hope it isn't too terrifying!!

Jennie said...

Thanks Kelly! So far, we both have flashlights on our belt, but we're using them to play, essentially, flash light tag. I'm not too worried, but we're just over preparing, for the worst case scenario...

Ana S. said...

Ringside, 1925 sounds pretty interesting.

I hope the storm passes soon!