Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers

Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers

3.3 3
by Betsy Franco
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From an acclaimed anthologist comes this unforgettable collection of one hundred poems by teenagers, capturing the vertigo-inducing realm of romantic love.

"But what I'll really mean is are you ready to dive in?
This is not falling,
this is landing."

— From "Gift" by Portia Carryer, age 16

The poets are straight, gay,

Overview

From an acclaimed anthologist comes this unforgettable collection of one hundred poems by teenagers, capturing the vertigo-inducing realm of romantic love.

"But what I'll really mean is are you ready to dive in?
This is not falling,
this is landing."

— From "Gift" by Portia Carryer, age 16

The poets are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender. They live next door or across an ocean; they are innocent or experienced; their lyric explorations range from new love to stale love, obsession to ennui, ecstasy to heartbreak, and every nuance in between. Whether the romantic escapades described are touching, comical, or tragic, whether the feelings expressed are tender and sweet or brutal and biting, readers will find the love these young poets openly share to be exquisitely, excruciatingly, endlessly fascinating. Here is a collection to turn to again and again, because life and love keep on changing.

Editorial Reviews

Katie Roiphe
…some of the contributions are predictable, some are clever, some show a flash of true gift, but what comes through the book as a whole is a surprisingly clear picture of the peculiar trials and exhilarations of teenage attachments. There is an energy running through these poems that brings back the intensity and bewilderment of those first few forays into what you might at the time have thought of as love.
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Pat Trattles
If you were to ask one hundred people to define love, chances are, you would get one hundred different definitions. That is exactly what we find here. Franco has compiled an anthology of love poems written by teens of all ages, collected from all corners of the world, mostly via email. Poets are male and female, gay, straight, bisexual, and transgender. Accordingly, no matter the age, gender, or sexual orientation, there is something here for every teenager. Poems are uncensored and raw, some containing language which may make adult readers cringe. Poems vary in length from one line: " I am the flour to your tortilla, baby," to two pages or more. Some are poignant, some sad, some will make you smile. My favorite in this last category is the one which sounds like a description of a heavy petting session until the last line when the poet reveals she is talking about her love of playing the piano. Most poems are free verse; some rhyme, and many are filled with powerful metaphors and rich descriptive language. As a whole they give the reader a clear view of the many facets of teenage love. Written for teens by teens, this collection will be a welcome addition to library and high school shelves everywhere. Reviewer: Pat Trattles
VOYA - Nancy K. Wallace
This slim volume holds secrets almost too intimate to share, emotions too raw to expose, leaving the reader feeling clandestine. Once spread, its pages reveal tortured, timeless poetry, yearning hearts, broken spirits, and emotions on overload. Brutally honest, achingly tender, these glimpses of love through poetry are erotic, sibilant, and sexy. Relationships range from heterosexual to homosexual and bisexual attraction. Line after line emerges as eloquent and memorable. "To all the males whose hearts have been impaled by the spikes of my high heels." begins Amy Collier in "Apologies." "I never thought any of us would die this way" mourns Zachary Boehler in "Aside." Elichia Owens describes a girl who "holds a cigarette and a baby with the same tenderness." Katie Chow airs her jealousy in "Deceleration" "I will be the fifth wheel on your automobile. The brakes on your bicycle built for two. Oh, I'll get in the way so you're never alone.o Without exception, each piece speaks with the same honesty and emotional clarity. Eloquent and evocative, this anthology deserves a place on every high school and public library shelf. These verses may prompt controversy, denial that those so young can speak with such authority and familiarity about the intimacy they share, but to refuse them exposure rejects the very essence of youth and love. "Show me what I can be, what love can mold from two perpendicular lives," says ten poet Cassandra E. Hueser. "Let me relish the chaos of creation." Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Falling Hard was compiled mostly by email from teenagers from many different backgrounds, and with different sexual orientations. Only their names and ages are given. The poems are written in free verse and are honest, sometimes explicit, and creative (there is an ode to a piano, and a "Pledge of Affection to a Nerd"). Love is variously compared to a psychic leech and the sting of a bee. Some of the poems have strong language. Interracial relationships, being gay ("Kiss a guy, get a man/Be a bi, lend a hand"), sex, break-ups, flirting, the intensity of love ("blinding flashing lightning in my guts") and jealousy are among the topics addressed. "Blackberries" by Emma Marlowe, age 17, uses vivid images of "flying on wings of hemp and silver/waxing sunlight crackles through dust/gold glass on a poisoned oak" and "I had to brush my taste to keep the teeth of him/out of my head."-Ann Nored, Wilson Central High School, Lebanon, TN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763634377
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
12/09/2008
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sitting on the porch swing amidst the sea of suburbia where cookie-cutter souls come home every day at 5 to the raised ranch

she strolls on by in her arcane soignée style playing her saxophone to a haunting melody so the whole wide world can hear her her motives, an enigma yet she charms us all with her sophistication her difference in this world

how I long to meet her get whisked away by her song yet mother says I’m still too infatuated to cross the street and far too young for jazz

JOSEPH LINDBLAD, age 14

Tilt the halo over my head
I don’t care what the caution tape read
It’s time to get a little dangerous
Let’s fall in love.

Forget the scriptures, forget the past
Conscience and common sense never last
It’s time to get a little curious
Let’s fall in love.

RACHEL McCARREN, age 15

At work

There’s actually only one thing I care about.
It’s a girl with brown hair and brown eyes
She’s short, she comes up to my shoulders or my chin
Today I was going to ask her a question,
has anyone ever fallen in love with you while you work?
Because, I wanted to tell her, I always fall in love with girls like you.
She called my name from the other room
I was washing dishes
She asked me if the music was alright,
it was Simon and Garfunkel -- here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.
When she came in, soapy handed I mentioned that I needed to see The Graduate again
She’d never seen it she said. Who’s in that?
Dustin Hoffman.

NICK ROSS-RHUDY, age 17

Gift

I would break you make you breathe hard for me,
take in more air,
as if I was there to breathe it too.
Nonsense nonsuchaswe could survive this journey.
I would score you bleed you scream you,
find you unwanting, unlacking,
in everything I want.
You are a thesaurus with no words, book of my heart and sickened stomach.
I would ask you where you stand,
if I did not know you better
I would say you float:
Delicate.
Your name spells ornate strength.
You are the castle I point for,
gaining power as I go up the clouds,
out of breath:
Keep breathing for me breathe harder,
take in more air,
as if I was there to breathe it too.

Lost maps and a few countries later
I could drive under your window,
Couldn’t I?
And ask how have you been have you got enough time to go for a drive?

But what I’ll really mean is are you ready to dive in?
This is not falling,
this is landing.

PORTIA CARRYER, age 16

_______
FALLING HARD by Betsy Franco. Copyright © 2008 by Betsy Franco. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA.

Meet the Author

Betsy Franco has published more than eighty books, including three previous anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago