I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!


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Don’t listen to the rules. Reinvent them.

Anyone who knows me knows I am an unrepentant hippy. It was easy to misconstrue my statement as meaning that RAP would evaporate without meter. RAP is all about sprung rhythm and rhyme - esp. In these two respects, RAP has much more in common with poetry in meter and rhyme than free-verse. This is what I meant.

There is always a beat in music at least in popular music and even off-meter rhyming depends on that beat. The effect, as before, is usually one of a sprung rhythm. Plenty of free-verse poets deliberately and studiously avoid rhetorical figures of any kind, let alone figurative language, meter, metaphor, simile, rhyme, etc There are plenty of poets who have, in very precise language, declared all such "poetic devices" off limits.

Of course, we may not be using the term "vast" in the same sense. Here's what I mean: How many rhetorical figures does one find in a given free verse poem? Since free verse already excludes rhyme and meter, the only differences remaining in terms of "poetic devices" are rhetorical - in the full Elizabethan sense of the word.

Since rhetoric isn't wholly alien to novelistic writing, the differences between a free verse poem and a prose paragraph may not be as extreme as you imagine. That's a separate issue though. What I'm referring to is the aural experience of having a paragraph or poem read to the average person. Why not test it? Pick out a paragraph, at random, and a free verse poem at random.

Pick an average reader, read them both samples, and see if they can guess which is the poem and which is the paragraph. If they guess correctly, ask them how they know. Usually, it will be because the poem was written in the first person -and that's about it I just tried it on my wife Algebra Teacher.

In case this post didn't make it through the first time You'll find, if you read Donne as he was originally published, that the printers if not the poet would frequently indicate whether words like these should be elided. For instance, in sonnet XIV the printer or Donne writes "usurpt" instead of "usurped". In this case, if Donne had wanted "called" to be elided, he could have written "call'd" or even "calld", as he does in other cases.


  1. Listening to Poetry;
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There is no precedent, even in Donne's poetry, for any Elizabethan poet having written a line, in a sonnet, as you have scanned it. To assert that this pattern is "executed very precisely" is an "enactment fallacy". You ascribe intentions to Donne based on, in this case, an anachronistic reading. I would respond that your argument would be stronger if Donne weren't writing Iambic Pentameter.

You can, if you wish even in correctly pronouncing "called" choose to emphasize "Death". This falls in the domain of reader's license, I suppose, but one should acknowledge that one is doing so in contradiction to the meter. Patrick, I have finally gotten back to your post about the oral tradition of poetry. I think you are right about the importance of literacy to the rise of free verse.

I agree that the particular tradition of poetry that is the subject of this post is an oral- and aural- based one. My point was not that readers have lost the ability to respond aurally to poetry--I agree they have not--but simply that the habit of reading "aloud" when confronted with a poem on the page has been lost. It is documented that readers in the middle ages--and perhaps even into the Renaissance--used to actually read aloud under their breaths while reading to themselves.

Then people began to read aloud silently inside their heads. Now another stage may have been reached where there is nothing "aloud" even about the silent reading process I have edited this part of the post a bit since it wasn't as polished as the rest, and appreciate your pointing it out. And do please post the URL of your blog. Michael, I know what you mean about the energy of a poem taking its own life. Your distinction between the poet and the poem talking reminds me of some lessons I took recently in a rather arcane tradition of performing poetry taught at Waldorf schools, which involves physically visualizing each word before you speak it.

One thing I learned was, when saying the word "I," to envision another self about halfway between you and the audience and to make the "I" come from that self. Jaynes was shown up as a quack almost as soon as his book was published; it might be more interesting than Carlos Castenada but has exactly as much scientific credibility. I agree that "called" was two syllables and that this is key to the scansion. I don't agree that a simple trochaic substitution is "in contradiction to the meter". Annie's stress on the subject of the sentence seems natural even if "BE" is emphasized as an imperative.

Dear Patrick, Thank you Immensely for pointing this out!! Of course you are right, and you have just increased my prosodic relief and my appreciation for the poem immensely. For Chaucer I would have known it was two syllables, but I hadn't realized this was true of the past tense "ed" into the Elizabethan period.

And of course, as you say, the whole rest of my reading of the line goes away with it. I am very grateful to you for clarifying this! I can't think of another line of the period that I would have scanned this way—or been tempted to—which makes me wonder about other lines in Elizabethan literature that use two-syllable words ending in "ed. Do you have any examples you could share? Forevermore in your debt, Annie. Dear Annie, there's no one I would rather read on matters like this than you, and much of what you say makes deep, intuitive sense to me.

However, I guess if I were to argue, I would have to argue against the dichotomies you seem inclined to bring up: Very little of that works for me, even though in the big picture, I know you are right. The thing is that I don't make these distinctions when I read, I don't have separate modes of processing when I read. I know this, because when I read Woolf, or any other great prose stylist I am aware of feeling musical weight and density in a Wordsworthian way, and this is so much of my love for them.

Woolf's sentences are, for me, totally "right brain," as you might say. And I would also argue against arguing over parsing metrical stress, by Milton or Donne or whomever, and just get down with latent variables and tensions in how we hear it, which is part of the appeal, and something about which Frost had some genuinely wise and down-homey things to say.

Patrick, In Shakespeare's "Let me not to the marrige of true minds," I believe I usually see an accent mark over "fixed" showing it should be pronounced with two syllables, and no elision marks over proved and loved in the final couplet. This seems to indicate that the one-syllable pronounciation was standard.

Would that accent over "fixed" be a more recent editorial addition, not a mark of Shakespeare's? What a fascinating discussion of the line from Donne! Scanning Shakespeare's sonnets, I've definitely found what Patrick said to be true: What text s are you guys using for the Shakespeare?? Be careful trying to scan "modernized" texts, that is, ones which change the spelling and punctuation to modern practice.

And even if you're using non-modernized versions, punctuation and orthography didn't work back then in quite the way it works now. I know you know all this! The jarring influence of iambic pentameter creeping into otherwise free-verse poems fascinates me. Over and over, I see it in the first lines of a poem. I call this the "curtain rod" phenomenon: Check out almost any literary journal and you'll find at least one such poem. It's easy and an unnecessarily cheap shot to claim in workshop that such poets probably weren't able to sustain the i. Surely they have absorbed the i. Now, what any given poet chooses to do with said information is his or her choice, of course.

Some may use the "curtain rod" as a springboard for a form that uses i. For poets who want practice writing in meter, this can be a great bridge--sonnets don't require the poet to sustain the i. If the sonnet is stillborn even after many revisions, it's a simple matter to go on to another. After writing 30 bad sonnets, a poet might revise two or three worth keeping.

It's a good daily exercise--one that Kay Murphy assigned me at UNO, and which resulted in several strong pieces. Other poets may squeal and recoil at the notion that their poem contains any such dreaded pre-Postmodern artifact. If the meter does not serve the poet's vision, let him or her relineate and revise. There are no rules for poetry--only for individual poems--and if the poet wants to break the "curtain rod" over his or her knee, fine. I just get annoyed by poets who badmouth "form" as if it were inherently evil, the source for every historical incident of extrapoetic fascist wrongdoing, and not simply another tool in the toolbox.

Imagine painters going to war periodically over the merits of filbert vs. I'd love to know whether others have noticed this tendency and what you think about it. Michael Robbins, actually, though it may be hard to find among all these comments, the comment you made has already been made, and addressed, twice before in this thread Hopefully the distinction made in the original post was, at least for a while, of the first variety. However, we may disagree on this point: The Donne discussion is a case in point. I don't think I've ever felt that a sincere and informed discussion of scansion got in the way of the experience of a poem--instead it has invariably opened up, for me, new depths and surprises.

Robin, I love the "curtain rod" metaphor! What some poor brain makes of a rhythm that is not really rhythmic, I am not prepared to say. I agree with everything else you say, and I especially like this, which cuts right to the chase: In the modernist wake, we have what Annie Finch points out: Indeed, Don, I was about to make the same point.

Thomas, if I'd read yr ridiculous dismissal of the modernists before now, I would've known never to bother responding to anything you say. Poetic Meter, the Brain, and Time" in Poetry back in the s that argued we a hardwired for meter which accounts for the popularity of its use. One could argue that the puzzle-maker in us is drawn to richly textured meter and free verse for the fact that, beyond arguments of subject and content, it doesn't easily satisfy what we quite literally already know about how we know as a matter of form.

Here's a bootleg link to the essay Aaron mentions, "The Neural Lyre. I love your idea: Even in the process of composition, one must listen intently--to the lines in one's head; to the lines as they play out on the page. It's like fine-tuning a radio dial through the static of the rest of the world. There are a lot of comments to respond to. I read the book several years ago, still have it sitting around on my shelf.

I should look at it again. If I remember correctly, he read a letter silently in front of his troops causing considerable surprise - historians commented on it apparently. I don't remember where I read this. Maybe one of my science journals? But here it is: Annie's stress on the subject of the sentence seems natural even if "BE" is emphasized as an imperative I'm not making a value judgment. I'm going to post an analysis of the poem shortly tonight.

I have scanned it, essentially, as a spondaic foot with BE, nevertheless, receiving the stronger stress - essentially in accordance with what you and Annie have written. That said, my own philosophy, and perhaps you disagree, is that the best metrical poets should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Listening to Poetry by Annie Finch | Poetry Foundation

In this case, the first foot could be read as trochaic or possibly iambic. Meter is a signpost like time signatures in music. As to the pronunciation of -ed, it was in flux during the Elizabethan period. By the eighteenth century, it had become a poetic convention even as it faded from common parlance. That said, you might recognize this poetry: So, even a hundred years later, this convention was alive and well. That said, this pronunciation still survives in our day. Some of us enjoy it though. Destiny has assigned that sad fate to me. Understanding meter can sometimes profoundly change the tone and meaning of a poem.

Shakespeare's Sonnet is a prime example. Read my post on it if you're curious. But if the thought of me recommending my own post is just too obnoxious, then I recommend Helen Vendler's analysis of the same poem in her overview of Shakespeare's Sonnets. This is a later editorial mark. If you look at a facsimile edition, you will see that "fixed" is not accented Vendler's edition or the Norton Edition. It's also not elided - which is a signal, in this instance, that it should be pronounced. They didn't use accent marks. This is all a modern contrivance for the aid of readers unused to reading metrical poetry.

The thing to remember is that, in Shakespeare's day, Londoners all spoke the same language in pretty much the same way. For many words, pronunciation was taken for granted. They didn't feel the need to elide "loved" because no one if they ever did pronounced the word as a two syllable word. For other words, because spelling hadn't been standardized, they commonly used spelling to visually indicate metrical pronunciation - my examples above. So, when an editor sits down to modernize and standardize Shakespeare's text, he thinks about several things. How are the words spelled.

Listen: A Poem by Laurie

How are the words pronounced now. How was the word used in other contexts. For example, let's say we didn't know whether "loved" was one or two syllables. What we would do is to see how "loved" was pronounced midline in other passages. Therefore, we can safely assume that these are not feminine endings and that loved was a one syllable word in common parlance. What Don Share wrote about modern texts is right on.

That's why I like to read Shakespeare in the original after I've read the modernized version. I disagree; but, in terms of interpretation, there's probably no wrong or right. But that's just my interpretation.

See a Problem?

As to Donne "struggling uphill" Donne chooses to put the verb BE in the stressed position. He didn't have to as with my example above. One can choose to ignore the placement of the word as an interpretive matter, but one can't ignore the fact that Donne placed it there. If you know what I mean Donne is certainly addressing Death in this sonnet, not death's "pride".

That doesn't make sense. It's a challenge, almost an exclamation. The speaker is calling Death to attention. This argues for "Death" getting the emphasis. So I would say, if I have to choose, that "be" gets the greater emphasis. So "Death be" is a very heightened iambic foot. As in 2 guys in a bar - "George, cut the crap" I should have phrased that more carefully. I hope that makes more sense. I'll be adding this to my post which, unfortunately, I'm not going to finish tonight, It's almost midnight. Now that called is two syllables, I would agree with Patrick and Henry and scan "Death be" as a spondee with a slightly greater stress on the "be.

Some prosodists maintain that a spondee is impossible in English because the second syllable of a two-syllable foot except presumably in a trochaic poem always gets the stress through expectation. I think it was the linguist Paul Kiparsky who solved, to my mind, this particular prosodic feud by saying, "it depends on whether you think of a spondee as a foot with two stresses, or a foot with two equal stresses. What a crux moment. Someone should write a poem about this. Annie there are some big fundamental nistakes in your right-left brain argument.

It takes both hemispheres of the brain to respond to poetry. The right is the locus of the making of images and where the emotional controls are located and is associated with the unconscious.. The left carries the ability to make conscious and is what is considered the rationally cognitive functioning part of the brain. It takes both, either in terms of meter or free. Music harmonizes or integrates both spheres of the brain, it is neither one nor the other. Neuroscientists and reesearcher Allan Schore would be a good reference, if a hard read. Therefore, to say free verse is left brain is false: To say meter is right is also misleading.

It could be argued that meter with its obssesive counting of stresses and syllables is more the rational left brain and has fallen out of favor because of its domination of the right brain's world of emotion and metaphor which is the older part of the brain and a link to a more 'natural' sense of self. I agree the issue is one of music and poetry lapsing into prose-like sounds but I also tired of people misusing information to justify one form or the other.

Good poems are written free verse and meter and neuroscience is not about to resurrect the righteous tyranny of any one form. Hi Annie, Lucia's comment regarding bicameral mind seems in line with current thinking, but in a way goes back to a fairly old notion that Hume put forward. The current thinking suggests a modular versus houses approach to understanding brain function. That certaind areas of the brain have distinct functions, but it is in their interchange with other areas that their function comes into being.

At once distinct and interdependent, it seems that the Mind is greater than the sum of its parts. However, the bicameral can be a useful tool. A metaphor in a way to account for a clutch of activitities. In this way, Hume speaks of the Self. The mind can be seen in the same way. But, I don't think so. Even if the mind is all a handy metaphor, the metaphor, the ghost, is to be loved or laughed at like any other dsiturbing invisible force. May the road rise to meet you. Glenn, nice to see you here!

I wrote a long response to your comment, then the phone rang and the wireless jammed and it was lost in the ether before I could post it. My own experience is that writing meter is more like musical composition than it is like making logical statements but then my poems don't make a lot of sense sometimes , and that reading meter is similarly more of a physcal than a mental experience. But I'm sure others have different experiences of it and I won't discount yours if you find meter dry and rational. James, thank you for your many insights. I closed by saying that I have learned a lot from this thread, and I want to thank everyone for their passionate engagement with the conversation here.

I'll be posting a poem soon on a new thread that achieves what I will now call by the nonscientific term "the zone" and does not do so by any means I can currently figure out. Hope to see some of you there. Hey Annie, thanks for your response, however I never wrote, check it, that my experience of meter is "dry and rational". That could apply to free verse or meter if not well-crafted. I admire and enjoy both when done well, such as your poems reflect. The main point was your view of the hemispheres of the brain did not serve your argument well.

Henry, my feeling is that " On the other hand, what you said here is very astute: Sometimes I think esoteric metrical analysis just confuses metrical readers and poets. If you start with the mother of all meters in English , iambic pentameter, and learn it so well that it's like second nature, then I wonder if anyone else feels this way - that meter is much simpler than the experts suggest, with their various systems.

The past couple of days, I've been repeating the "Death be" line in my mind - listening to the feelings in it, which are so much more subtle and alive than any metrical system, such as Steele's, can describe. The point is that IP is a meter of infinite variations of feeling and sound. Again, an infinite variety of feeling and thought rises out of lines in strict IP, and the Elizabethan poets knew it.

My first impression is that, in places, it feels like there might be an underlying metrical pattern, but that it's never stable enough to be established. The poem has more the feeling of accentual free verse. That's just a first impression though. Pretty straightforward, and nicely done. Mary Meriam, "Sometimes I think esoteric metrical analysis just confuses metrical readers and poets. It does more than confuse, however. Poe simplifies the whole issue wonderfully over the course of an in-depth investigation.

I really shouldn't be sharing my secret; eventually I'll lose the material advantage I revel in; yet, in the long run, sharing is good Michael Robbins, To my assertion that Modernism was guilty of 'curtain-rodding' Robin Kemp's wonderful phrase you responded: It is quite obvious to me, and I can cite examples if you wish, that the young Modernists, before they were famous, were, quite naturally, eager to make their names as poets in the Tradition. Remember that Tennyson was still alive when Eliot was born. Before you accuse me of heresy--modernist results occasionally had value; I am merely taking a more sober and realistic look at the process involved.

Mary, Patrick, Thomas - - grateful for your readings. I'm sure Tom Brady will have something to say to that, out of Poe. Eliot, too, was kind of quirky in that regard. My own solution or mistake has been to grasp with a leech-like grip by happenstance, mostly my own prosody. It involves a free-verse ABBA quatrain on a blank verse iambic pentameter base, within some other structural elements.

It soothes my savage American breast. Thomas, it's the inane notion that they started writing differently because they "failed" that I took issue with. You ought to have a look at alternative explanations for aesthetic revolutions. That you believe I think of these matters in terms inherited from religious belief is an indication of the distance between us. My DSL modem failed yesterday due to a firmware glitch. So, I'm setting in a my car, outside the local library, doing E-Mail and checking this and that. Who knows whether I will be connected before the week-end?

Rather than make unhelpful and useless comments now that my connection to the 21rst century just fizzled out is there anything in particular you were wondering about as concerns your poem? Was there a metrical effect you were wondering about?

If you want to become a poet, here are some words of advice

I wish I hadn't been working on a screenplay so I could have responded to the discussion. I woulda loved to add my two cents to the parts of my position which were being debated. I will say this: Whatever, it doesn't matter. All that matters is I have a headache and must eat food, food, food! Ahh, the passion of poets and poetry readers. Henry Should a jury be swayed by the pleasant and sweet personality of someone on trial for murder? What constitutes an "argument? How do we know what we know? How can we trust our feelings and our conclusions? Poe believed in the dual soul, the layered soul, or, if you will, the dual argument, or the layered argument.

When a superior mind becomes heated, it will contain a great many points of view within itself, and entertain the fancy that it is a master of both prose and poetry at once; but such a thing is impossible, and is simply the product of an overheated brain. Michael, It is not a radical notion to assert that failure stimulates invention; the failure to get from New York to London quickly by boat is why we fly there; impatience with the old drives formation of the new, and what is impatience but a visceral feeling of being impeded, a visceral experience of failure? I suppose your objection is: The error here is the assumption that the verse of Eliot and Pound is 'flying,' that it improved the Tradition materially.

Eliot and Pound are noteworthy not as points of progress, but as pieces of wreckage. It is a truism to say that the failure to preserve Tradition as a living organism haunted Eliot, as both foot-noting museum curator and poet. Impatience reacts to error, but can lead to error, which can lead to a broader impatience among the public, which is always the final filter of triumph or failure. Well Annie, I ordered your book, Calendars - hardcover edition.

I look forward to it and any poets you might recommend who play in meter and rhyme. I guess it depends on which Free Verse poets you ask. Some free verse poets will say that free verse, by definition, excludes those things. Some of the modernist were, or became, ambivalent toward free verse. To judge by their poetry, that was a good thing,. No, free verse has never meant verse free of I think you mean constraints. Whatever do folks read these days? An acquaintance with poetics used to be fairly regarded as necessary to the practice of poetry! The most cursory examination of the subject reveals: Whitman's free lines are different from those of La Fontaine.

I don't know what verse free of all constraints would look like anyway, do you? No, you say, what about P. Well, it must use graphemes! The rhythm is simply not strictly regular. There are a complex of reasons "why we fly there," but two quite substantial ones are the development of the technology of flight so as to conduct military affairs early in the century, and the increasing spatial dimension of the international market as it shifted centers from a naval empire adjacent to the European industrial core to a continental empire at considerable distance.

This incapacity to think historically is ascendant around here, but it doesn't have to be. Changes in transport aren't events on a timeline of transportation technologies, staying or swerving from the course of tradition. They are driven quite as much or more by changes in broader conditions.

Thomas's idea that if folks only could reproduce the tradition capably, the art would more or less continue on an unswerving course, is a conception alien to historical process. Poetry develops language adequate to its situation which changes at the speed of the world , or it doesn't — the latter is the moment of failure, not the former.

Hi Patrrick - hope you're back again with us, here in the 23rd century - As far as my public question about the poem Lanthanum - I was just curious to learn, from people who are far more attuned to metrical form than I am, what you would make of this sort of hybrid style. I guess for a purist it's simply non-metrical. But it seems to me a prosody doesn't necessarily HAVE to scan with perfect consistency, in order to work.

I write this with a pattern, but I bend it extremely. There is an underlying iambic pentameter, yet it's very loose. It's extended, repetitive - beyond the frame of the individual section. I mean, the poem has a momentum which includes irregularities, I guess.

Poets don't need to "develop" language at the "speed of the world" a nice image ; and if they did, few would remain relevant after their first few books, for few poets "develop" in every book. Davies remained a terrific poet, even if old-fashioned. His writing got him out of the impoverished class into the lower middle class. But then, despite my objection to the necessity of "development," I'm pretty sure that Davies coined the word "supertramp" probably as a parody of the then-contemporary, since-discredited, translation of Nietzsche's coinage "Ubermann" , which, of course, later became the name of a best-selling popular music group.

John, what the individual poet does is I didn't say anything about the individual. Anyone can be an antiquarian and it's no crime. And you are of course free to find it "terrific" as you see fit; no arguing with taste. And yet poetry as a collective social activity located in places and times does change as places and times change, hence your very ability to use the concept "old-fashioned. And when those particulars are gone to rust, we call that way of writing old-fashioned. You've really just made my point. Yes, Jane, styles do indeed change.

But rust and failure -- your words -- do not necessarily accompany a decision not to change with the world or keep up with fashion; nor does style equate with worldly engagement in any sense outside of the art historical, which is of severely limited scope in any practical or ethical or political or historical sense. It's a cold aesthetic that restricts its applause to the Darwinian victors.

I wish I was a poet Johnny Lothoss(lyric)

John, yr ahistorical view of poetry confuses Joshua's point: When the world changes, we change with it, are changed by it: Of course one may "decide" to affect resistance to this change, which can be manifest as a consciously "old-fashioned" style. But the very fact that you can call it "old-fashioned" this is Joshua's point indicates that you too have changed with the world.

But there is a direct, complex relationship, which is why it doesn't make sense to ask why Language poetry didn't crop up during the Renaissance. Michael, I was objecting to Joshua's insulting of old-fashioned styles "failure"; later, "rust" , and pointing out that by his standard, few poets do any? Who said anything about "withdrawal"? The modernist quest is interesting and stimulating, but it's not the only way; measuring aesthetic efficacy by its conformity to contemporary style is really old-fashioned now, but, like I said, nothing wrong with being old-fashioned.

Well, I made a mistake, but, in light of being accused of being a-historical, a funny one -- because I made a historical error, which our self-appointed historians failed to catch. Davies wasn't old-fashioned when he emerged: He fit right into the Georgian style that got named a few years after his first books came out. The Georgian style, our historians will recall, represented an attempt by poets or, if you prefer, by poetry to re-engage with the world in a simpler, more direct style after the florid manners of Swinburne and the aesthetes.

Davies's contemporaries recognized his up-to-date-ness. Bernard Shaw wrote the preface to his memoir, "The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp" Davies had lost a leg when hopping a train ; and the astute modernist critic and terrific poet Edward Thomas praised Davies's poetry. Of course, the Georgian style was superseded by other modernisms almost before it emerged itself, but it was engaged and popular for a while, and as Davies kept writing in the style for years after Georgianism ceased being a "force," his style did become old-fashioned.

Hisham Alshaikh Jul You laugh Angels weep out of jealousy Devils have no single conspiracy Demons dancing in harmony Men hearts go broken with no remedy Women eyes tearing continuously Violins break out of envy terribly Composers have no more creativity Music plays with no melody Silence starts listening joyfully Happiness laughters left in agony Beautiful words describe nothing but misery Tulip flowers become colorless shamefully Believers lose their faith immediately Infidels drop their convictions instantly Hearts start beating rapidly Lungs oxygenating quickly Living ones laying listening carefully The dead come back miraculously.

And it reminded me so much of life!

Read, read, read.

Our mothers sometimes crying I wonder if we could tell if our mother wished we were not there I wonder if we wanted, someone to cheer, that we were born? This is a great intro to poetry for young readers. Each poet is introduced in a biographical setting and then there are one or more of that poet's poems. We very much enjoyed listening to the poems being recited on the CD after reading them ourselves. Dec 14, Rosie Gearhart rated it it was amazing Shelves: Wonderful introduction to poets and their most famous poems.

We read about one poet per day. Comes with an audio CD of all the poems. Mar 20, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: Exactly what it claims to be: An introduction to poetry. We enjoyed reading about different styles of poetry as well as famous poets. I would recommend for third grade and up. Oct 26, Audrey rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book introduces the reader to a variety of poetry that is arranged in a chronological format.

This book would be a wonderful resource for both students and teachers. The book is arranged in a chronological format that follows poetry up to the current period, ending with a poem by Maya Angelou. There is an accompanying C. The book does not present poetry in a dry or boring form. There is also a glossary at the end of the book that lists various poetry terms and their meanings.

There is also a bibliography that will provide guidance to readers who would like ideas regarding future poetry books to read. Booklist recommends the book for grades However, some of the poems in this book are ones that realistically would not be introduced until high school. So, although the illustrations are somewhat juvenile, this book would also be appropriate for a high school classroom or library.

Oct 21, Mikey Briccetti rated it liked it Shelves: Listen and follow along with the CD while you read poems like Jabberwocky, Haiku and even Shakespeare. While you read you can also learn about the structure of each poem and the authors who wrote them. It does offer a resource for teachers who want to teach a lesson on different form of poems. It would be best to copy the poems as most of the page is filled with text rather than pictures. This will show them how poems can have multiple different forms. Another use can be to use it as a historical reference for learning about the evolution of poetry and how it has effected people around the world.

Oct 22, Dolly rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Our oldest brought this book home from her elementary school library and we attempted to read it together. However, we only got about a third of the way through the book when we discovered that she had to return it. I finally borrowed it again through our local library and we read the rest of it in one night.

If I have any complaints, it's that it's not easy to listen to the CD and keep up with the separate narrative of the book. After a frustrating first attempt to do both at the same time, I d Our oldest brought this book home from her elementary school library and we attempted to read it together. After a frustrating first attempt to do both at the same time, I decided to listen to the whole CD at once, then go back and read the narrative again independently.

Our girls liked the poems, but didn't want me to read the rest aloud. Our oldest daughter said she'd already read the entire book and our youngest didn't care to hear the rest.


  1. Snapshots of Grace.
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  3. Luomo sul tetto (Le indagini di Martin Beck) (Italian Edition);

The narrative is interesting, even if it doesn't work seamlessly with the audio CD and the illustrations are colorful and cartoonish, adding fun details to the poems. Overall, it's an entertaining and informative read. Sep 18, Lorie rated it it was amazing. An excellent poetry book for children and for teachers of poetry! This book has a fun format with great illustrations and it explains types of poetry in a non-threatening way.

The poems included are mostly familiar for adults and will probably rouse up some precious memories. A bonus to the book is a CD that will read the poetry to you! Dec 05, Crystal rated it it was amazing Shelves: A very fun book! We read a two page spread each week that talks about a different style of poetry.

I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!
I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!
I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!
I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!
I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!
I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!
I Am Poet....Listen to My Words! I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!

Related I Am Poet....Listen to My Words!



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