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From the simplest couplet to the mind-boggling pantoum, the ...
From the simplest couplet to the mind-boggling pantoum, the award-winning team behind A POKE IN THE I shows us the many fascinating ways poetic forms take shape.
Open this book for something
Twenty-nine different poetic forms await you
Inside these pages. How many
Can you master?
From sonnets to double dactyls,
Odes to limericks—
Raschka and Janeczko (and a frisky mule)
Make learning the rules of poetry
So much fun!
In this splendid and playful volume, acclaimed poetry anthologist Paul B. Janeczko and Caldecott Honor illustrator Chris Raschka present lively examples of twenty-nine poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry, but also the spirit that brings these forms so wonderfully to life. Featuring formal poems, some familiar and some never before published, from the likes of Eleanor Farjeon (aubade), X. J. Kennedy (elegy), Ogden Nash (couplet), Liz Rosenberg (pantoum), and William Shakespeare, the sonnet king himself, A KICK IN THE HEAD perfectly illustrates Robert Frost's maxim that poetry without rules is like a tennis match without a net.
Posted March 18, 2005
If you give a child but one book this year let it be 'A Kick In The Head,' an eye-popping introduction to poetic forms. Now, don't be put off by the term 'poetic forms,' the examples win both young readers and adults. Who can resist Ogden Nash's 'In the world of mules, there are no rules.'? (A couplet, of course). Poet and teacher Paul B. Janeczko has included 29 poetic forms from haiku to a sonnet to an elegy. All are so thoughtfully chosen that one cannot suppress a smile or a catch in the throat. Among the authors represented are Shakespeare, Robert Service, Gary Soto, Georgia Heard, Richard Wilbur, the author himself, and, of course, everyone's favorite - anonymous. Among these pleasurable pages readers may learn why there are 17 syllables in a haiku, and 14 lines in a sonnet. Closing pages hold further notes on the various forms. An excellent suggestion from the author is to first read the poem, then read the explanatory note at the bottom of the page, next read the poem again to see if you can detect how it follows the stated form. Fairly bursting from the pages are Chris Raschka's watercolor, ink, and torn paper illustrations. Collage-like in appearance they capture the eye and couple perfectly with each poem. 'A Kick In the Head' is that rarity - a book to be enjoyed by both adults and children, and a joy to return to again and again. - Gail CookeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.