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Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    Fun little hodgepodge

    Something for everyone, here, if the selection's a little scattershot. I was happy to see some of my favorites from grade school. A good gift for adolescents with a literary bent.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club.com

    Poetry collections directed to teens are not very common; you're much more likely to find collections of poetry for children or adults. This lack of poems for teens to appreciate is exactly what editor Elise Paschen addresses in a new collection that is part of the Poetry Speaks series, Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Stories of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence and Everything Else. The more than 100 poets whose work is represented include classic poets like Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost as well as contemporary poets such as Sherman Alexie, Maya Angelou and Portland's Kim Stafford.

    Some of the poems are whimsical, such as Death of a Snowman by Vernon Scannell, while others are more contemplative, such as One Art by Elizabeth Bishop, which is about the art of losing things. Girls may cringe when reading Bra Shopping by Parneshia Jones. And of course, there are poems with rich imagery. Here are just a few lines from one of those, Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney:

    Late August, given heavy rain and sun
    For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
    At first just one, a glossy, purple clot
    Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
    You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
    Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it

    I recognized poems I memorized in high school, like Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley, marveling that memorizing was much easier for me then than it seems to be now. An added bonus to Poetry Speaks Who I Am is that is comes with a CD of 47 poems being read by their authors or others. There's something hypnotic about listening to poems being read, especially by the author, who knows where she intended emphasis and can add tone.

    Blank pages in the back of the book encourage readers to write their own poetry, which could be a great activity for a mother-daughter book club. April is National Poetry Month-reading Poetry Speaks Who I Am would be a great way to celebrate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

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