Friday, February 05, 2010

Poetry Friday

So, I know I've been pretty down on verse novels lately and haven't read one in a while that I both (a) thought was poetry and (b) liked.

But, I have to say, that I have two that I am completely enamored of at the moment! Love That Dog and its sequel, Hate That Cat, both by Sharon Creech.

Both books are poems Jack writes to his teacher, they're like letters almost, and we only get Jack's side. (If I were a creative writing teacher, I would have my students read these books and then write Miss Stretchberry's response poems.) The class is studying poetry and Jack struggles to understand some of it, to tell why some things are poems and some aren't. And some of Jack's poetry would work as prose, and some is pure poetry. There are big ideas and small ideas and humor and sadness, forgiveness and loss, all in a few pages and a few words.

I love how this book has to be told in poetry because it's about poetry. I love how it references so many other classic and non-classic poems and how those poems are in the back of the book, because while I may automatically get a reference to a red wheelbarrow, most middle grade readers won't. I also love how much Jack loves Mr. Walter Dean Myers and how he wonders if each new poet is still alive. Most of all, I loved that the poems were awesome and good but still read like they were written by a kid.

I didn't even mind the dead dog (to be fair, the dog is dead before the book starts, but it still made me cry!) I want to shout about these books from the rooftop. Love That Dog is going to be the April book for my book discussion group. I decided that as soon as a I finished the book.

And here are two poems to show why these books are awesome (both are from Hate That Cat):

October 12

Something I am wondering:
if you cannot hear
do words have no sounds
in your head?

Do you see



October 17

made my ears frizzle

All that buzz buzz buzz
pop! pop!
drip and tinkle and trickle--
the sounds are still
buzzing and popping
in my head.

And the bells bells bells
in that poem you read
by Mr. Poe
(is he alive?)
all those bells bells bells
all those tinkling and jingling
and swinging and ringing
and rhyming and chiming
and clanging and clashing
and tolling and rolling
all those bells bells bells
and that tintinnabulation
what a word!

... (you'll have to read the book to get the rest! Ha!)

Round up is over at Growing Up with Books.

Books Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I love "Love That Dog" -- I'm going to have to remember to get "Hate That Cat" from my library. I remember when the sequel came out, but promptly forgot about reading it. Thanks for the reminder!