Friday, March 18, 2011

Poetry Friday: The Dreamer

"I am Poetry" by Pam Munoz Ryan

I am poetry,
waiting to seize the poet.
I ask the questions
for which all answers
I choose no one.
I choose every one.
Come closer...
...if you dare.

I am poetry,
lurking in dappled shadow.
I am the confusion
of root
and gnarled branch.
I am the symmetry
of insect,
and a bird's outstretched wings.

I am poetry,
prowling the blue,
tempting my prey
with fish, shell, and sky.
From beneath the eyelids
of the deep, I seek
the unsuspecting heart.
Look at me.

I am poetry,
surrounding the dreamer.
Ever present,
I capture the spirit,
the reluctant pen,
and become
the breath
on the writer's only road.

The Dreamer (Ala Notable Children's Books. Older Readers)This the poem that travels throughout The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Peter Sis.

The Dreamer tells the story of Pablo Naruda's childhood, when we was Neftali, the middle child, weak and prone to day dreaming. His father is a harsh man, determined that his sons do the family proud and go into medicine or business. He makes Neftali's older brother stop studying music. He often publicly humiliates Neftali, hoping to turn him into a stronger "more normal" boy. Neftali finds support in his stepmother and his uncle, the publisher of a controversial newspaper.

Overall, while I enjoyed this book, it didn't stand out for me in any way. I read it because it won the Pura Belpre award this year and was one several Newbery lists I saw this winter, so I was surprised by the overall lack of... something. I can't put my finger on why, but this one just really didn't do it for me.

BUT! I did like parts of it. I liked the background conflict of the Mapuche people with developers. Not that I liked the conflict, but I like how Ryan worked it in, over the course of time, here and there. It was always in the background, but showed Neftali's growing social consciousness and showed how his uncle and father disagreed. I also liked that the book was printed in green ink (the reasons why show up in the author's note.)

Poetry Friday round up is over at A Wrung Sponge.

Book Provided by... my local library

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