Friday, May 07, 2010

Poetry Friday: Poetry Speaks Who I Am

In last week's Poetry Friday entry, I told about blogging about a book I was putting on my wish list. A few days later, the book arrived in the mail, bought for me by one of my reader-friends. That's the second time someone has bought me a book after reading on my blog that I wanted it. I should post more often about the books I want. Believe me, there is a long list.

What could be better than getting a book in the mail? There are a few things, but not many. I was very excited, as was my middle school daughter, who falls right in the target age group for the book, Poetry Speaks Who I Am. She grabbed the book before I had a chance to look through it at all, and it got a positive review from her.

It gets a positive review from me, too. This is definitely going on my shelf when I get my classroom back. I probably will use some of them in class (and the included CD will help with that), but this book is intended to be read by middle schoolers themselves. "This is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, for required memorization and recitation," says the Introduction. "It's made just for you."

There are poems about love, loneliness, complicated relationships, emotions, putting on mascara, mowing the lawn, and many other experiences of adolescence. The poets are mostly contemporary, but not all - there's some well-chosen Emily Dickinson, Keats, even Shakespeare, among other staples of the literature curriculum. One of the best things about poetry - about literature in general - is the way it makes you feel you aren't alone. Others have been through, and survived, what you are living now. This anthology will do that for some of my students, I think.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

By the way, while I was looking for the location of today's roundup, I found this post from the Poetry Friday after the earthquake. I hadn't seen it before. This week I have been revisiting that terrible week by listening to the episodes of The Story from those days and blogging about them. (Here's the first of those posts. Here's the second. Here's the third. Here's the fourth. And here's the fifth. I am going to be adding the rest as I go through them.) I downloaded them a long time ago but only now am I feeling I can bear to listen to them. It means a lot to me to know that people were remembering those of us mourning in Haiti all those weeks ago. Don't forget Haiti. The mourning continues even as rebuilding begins.


Mary Lee said...

Thank you for helping us to remember...

Tricia said...

Did Emily Dickinson write the poem about putting on mascara? No? Guess not.

I tried to find the podcasts from my iPod the other day, but searching for "The Story" (or even "The Story NPR") was not very helpful! Clearly I need to get them via my computer and sync them.

Ruth said...

Tricia, the website is You can find links to the MP3s in my posts about the podcasts. Eventually, when I get done blogging about all of them, I'll do an Index post with all of them in the same one.

Ruth said...

Oh, and no, Emily Dickinson didn't write the mascara poem. :-)