Monday, January 21, 2019

What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading & Writing Poems



Michael Rosen has created a marvelous tool to make poetry (the reading and writing of it) accessible to people of all ages (but young people in particular will enjoy his book).  Poetry is a marvelous form of self expression and a way to explore thoughts, feelings and ideas in a creative manner.

Rosen writes in a very engaging, kid-friendly manner--no boring lectures here! The first part of the book convinces the reader of the awesome things that poetry can do such as:


  • Suggest things
  • Play with words
  • Be personal
  • Borrow voices
  • Capture a moment
  • Be ironic
  • Flip reality
  • Give an impression
  • Be symbolic
I LOVE how Rosen makes poetry come alive by sharing examples and giving insight into what a poem can communicate and relay through words. Rosen goes on to discuss what people can do with a poem (other than the obvious--read it).  He teachers his audience to ask questions, look for connections, commit it to memory or use poetry with other forms of art like putting a poem to music or painting a picture to go with a poem. 

Rosen then helps the reader get started writing poems by offering suggestions on how to get creative juices flowing and also ideas for topics to write about. I would recommend this book to any classroom teacher--from elementary through high school. This would be also be a great resource in a school or home library to serve as a continued reference for poetic exploration.  There are so many ways I could recommend using this book:
  • Start a poetry club at school or the local library
  • An activity for programming for seniors in independent living
  • Summer activity to keep language skills sharp
  • Family guide to enjoying and creating poetry
  • Special activity for a parent and child or a parent and grandchild 
Grab a copy of What is Poetry? and experience the mystery and wonder of poetry! Whether you read or write it, poetry is an important part of our history and culture. 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of What is Poetry? from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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