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

Overview

Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book.

Poetry can be life altering. It can be gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking. And it's meant to be experienced, so we've included...

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Overview

Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book.

Poetry can be life altering. It can be gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking. And it's meant to be experienced, so we've included a CD on which you'll hear 44 poems, 39 of which are original recordings-you'll only find them here. You'll hear poets both classic and contemporary, well-known and refreshingly new, including:
--Dana Gioia expresses the hunger of a "Vampire's Serenade"
--Elizabeth Alexander waits for that second kiss in "Zodiac"
--Langston Hughes flings his arms wide in "Dream Variations"
--Marilyn Nelson reads to her class in "How I Discovered Poetry"
--Paul Muldoon's poem "Sideman," brought loudly to life by the band Rackett
--And 39 more poems that are immediate and vibrant

From Lucille Clifton's "Here Yet Be Dragons" to Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" to "Tia Chucha," by Luis J. Rodriguez, Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you. If you're lucky, it'll serve as a gateway to a lifetime lived with poetry. At the very least, it'll be a good time. Dive in, and happy hunting.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This addition to the Poetry Speaks series aims at middle-grade readers with more than 100 strikingly diverse poems by writers including Poe, Frost, Nikki Giovanni, and Sandra Cisneros. The works are slotted together in mindful thematic order, beside occasional spot art. In Rosellen Brown's untitled poem, she reflects, “Nothing. They are for nothing, friends,/ I think. All they do in the end—they touch you. They fill you like music.” Just opposite, is Langston Hughes's “I Loved My Friend”: “I loved my friend./ He went away from me./ There's nothing more to say./ The poem ends,/ Soft as it began—I loved my friend.” Pairing a contemporary poem like Toi Derricotte's “Fears of the Eighth Grade” alongside Keats's “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be,” results in a refreshing lack of literary hierarchy that enables disparate works to build and reflect upon one another. An accompanying CD features recordings of 44 of the poems, and blank lined pages at the end allow readers to integrate their voices into the chorus. A sound and rewarding introduction to the joys of poetry. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
This addition to the Poetry Speaks series aims at middle-grade readers with more than 100 strikingly diverse poems by writers including Poe, Frost, Nikki Giovanni, and Sandra Cisneros. The works are slotted together in mindful thematic order, beside occasional spot art. In Rosellen Brown's untitled poem, she reflects, “Nothing. They are for nothing, friends,/ I think. All they do in the end—they touch you. They fill you like music.” Just opposite, is Langston Hughes's “I Loved My Friend”: “I loved my friend./ He went away from me./ There's nothing more to say./ The poem ends,/ Soft as it began—I loved my friend.” Pairing a contemporary poem like Toi Derricotte's “Fears of the Eighth Grade” alongside Keats's “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be,” results in a refreshing lack of literary hierarchy that enables disparate works to build and reflect upon one another. An accompanying CD features recordings of 44 of the poems, and blank lined pages at the end allow readers to integrate their voices into the chorus. A sound and rewarding introduction to the joys of poetry. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
""Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am...a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."" - Scripps News

""The power of spoken poetry is at the heart of Poetry Speaks. Poetry is a vocal art, an art meant to be read aloud. Listening to a poem read aloud can be a transforming experience. Poetry Speaks not only introduces the finest work from some of the greatest poets who ever lived, it reintroduces the oral tradition of poetry, of poetry performed."" - Powells Books

""Poet Elise Paschen is turning her attention to yet another most universal of human experiences: awkward adolescence...[Paschen] can turn this subject into something that we can laugh about now." " - NPR

""Poetry Speaks Who I Am is the perfect book to introduce tweens & teens to Poetry... [Poetry Speaks Who I Am] also features blank pages in the back, where teens can write their own poetry. The book's design also speaks to younger readers -- with the pages created to look like they belong in a teenager's notebook, with scribbles and doodles around the edges...This adds yet another dimension to the experience of poetry, which is sometimes considered a performance art more than anything else."" - Portland Examiner

""Elise Paschen: poetry for teens caters to the rebel in each of us... So what if that happens to be written by some fancy-sounding napoetryme such as Percy Shelley or Paul Muldoon? So much the better."" - Chicago Tribune

""This volume of verse is aimed at teenagers and is, not surprisingly, full of strong emotion... It's a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves."" - The New York Times

""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."" - Reading Local: Portland

""Humorous, biting, tender, angry, confused--the range of moods and voices reflect those of young people themselves as they make and lose friends, fall in love, worry about school, hug (and hurt) parents and try to figure out their place in the world."" - Washington Parent

""A sound and rewarding introduction to the joys of poetry."" - Publishers Weekly

""Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am"(Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $19.99). Editor Elise Paschen asked poets to send poems either that were important to them as teenagers, or poems they had written themselves about being teenagers. The result is a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."" - The Seattle Times

Scripps News
"Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am...a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."
Powells Books
"The power of spoken poetry is at the heart of Poetry Speaks. Poetry is a vocal art, an art meant to be read aloud. Listening to a poem read aloud can be a transforming experience. Poetry Speaks not only introduces the finest work from some of the greatest poets who ever lived, it reintroduces the oral tradition of poetry, of poetry performed."
NPR
"Poet Elise Paschen is turning her attention to yet another most universal of human experiences: awkward adolescence...[Paschen] can turn this subject into something that we can laugh about now."
Portland Examiner
"Poetry Speaks Who I Am is the perfect book to introduce tweens & teens to Poetry... [Poetry Speaks Who I Am] also features blank pages in the back, where teens can write their own poetry. The book's design also speaks to younger readers -- with the pages created to look like they belong in a teenager's notebook, with scribbles and doodles around the edges...This adds yet another dimension to the experience of poetry, which is sometimes considered a performance art more than anything else."
Chicago Tribune
"Elise Paschen: poetry for teens caters to the rebel in each of us... So what if that poetry happens to be written by some fancy-sounding name such as Percy Shelley or Paul Muldoon? So much the better."
The New York Times
"This volume of verse is aimed at teenagers and is, not surprisingly, full of strong emotion... It's a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves."
Reading Local: Portland
"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."
Washington Parent
"Humorous, biting, tender, angry, confused--the range of moods and voices reflect those of young people themselves as they make and lose friends, fall in love, worry about school, hug (and hurt) parents and try to figure out their place in the world."
The Seattle Times
"Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am"(Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $19.99). Editor Elise Paschen asked poets to send poems either that were important to them as teenagers, or poems they had written themselves about being teenagers. The result is a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Robert Frost, Langston Hughes and Sylvia Plath share space with contemporary poets Marilyn Nelson, Joy Harjo and Sherman Alexie in this collection of more than one hundred "poems of discovery, inspiration, independence, and everything else" (to borrow from the subtitle). Humorous, biting, tender, angry, confused—the range of moods and voices reflect those of young people themselves as they make and lose friends, fall in love, worry about school, hug (and hurt) parents and try to figure out their place in the world. Ron Koertge's Cinderella complains about being "lost in ever after" with a boring prince; Nikki Grimes writes of the "sunshine in jeans/and knee-high boots" of young love; Sandra Cisneros describes a sad abuelito (grandfather) who "used to laugh like the letter k." The sum of all these poetic voices and styles is a powerful whole that, as Rosellen Brown says of friends, can "fill you like music." Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
VOYA - Courtney Huse Wika
Attempting to alleviate teens' fear and loathing of poetry, Poetry Speaks Who I Am presents 108 motley selections by both contemporary and anthologized poets. With such an assortment, readers will connect with at least one text and discover that poetry can excite and inspirit, and allow them to see their world in a new way. This compilation hopes to move readers, but also to inspire and awaken their creativity; lined pages at the back of the book await the thoughts of its burgeoning poets. As a bonus, the collection is accompanied by a CD with recordings of forty-seven of the poems, often read by their respective authors. This collection is impressive. Newer poets appear next to writers like William Shakespeare and W.B.Yeats, and this organization, combined with the diverse styles and schemes, further demystifies the genre, confirming that verse does not have to be traditional nor formal to be considered poetry; it simply has to make the reader feel something. With the absence of author introductions on the accompanying CD, the poems meld into a myriad of voices, emphasizing poetry's fluid nature. Each poem is grounded in a familiar setting, such as the kitchen, the classroom, the bedroom, the school hallway, or the back yard, and invokes everyday conflicts and desires of adolescence. The poems summon love and love lost, first kisses, childhood memories, teen embarrassments, identity crises, family influences, plights of loneliness, and celebrations of acceptance. Aptly titled, this collection speaks to the reader while simultaneously speaking of the reader. Reviewer: Courtney Huse Wika
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This extraordinary collection is alive with pathos, sensitivity, humor, beauty, controversy, and insight. The more than 100 poems are by prize-winning authors and relative newcomers. Familiar classics and contemporary selections sing out with profound ideas and simple truths. To define "who I am," there are selections about racial and ethnic identity; about ordinary and lofty ideas; about love, friendship, and family connections. They exhibit compassion, confusion, and anger. The poems are at once personal and universal, each told in a voice that speaks candidly to the target audience. The accompanying CD includes readings by many of the poets, and some of them describe the inspiration for their work, creating an intriguing perspective and connection to the piece. Blank pages at the end of the book invite readers to compose selections of their own. The variety of poems could easily hook youngsters on the genre as a comforting, accessible art form. This special book will enrich poetry sections.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Julie Just
It's a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402210747
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: A Poetry Speaks Experience Series
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 161
  • Sales rank: 112,478
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Elise Paschen
Elise Paschen is the editor of Poetry Speaks to Children and co-editor of Poetry Speaks, both New York Times bestsellers. She is the author of several acclaimed poetry collections of her own, including Bestiary and Infidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion, a nationwide program that places poetry in subways and buses, and co-editor of Poetry in Motion and Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast.

Series Editor Dominique Raccah is founder, president, and publisher of Sourcebooks, a leading independent publisher outside of Chicago. Today Sourcebooks is the world's leading publisher of poetry in book-and-audio form, and also publishes nonfiction and fiction. Raccah was the initial visionary of the books Poetry Speaks, Poetry Speaks to Children and Hip Hop Speaks to Children, seeing them as interactive, engaging ways to experience spoken and written poetry.

Advisory Editor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. Most recently, she composed and delivered "Praise Song for the Day" for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, also published as a book. She has published five books of poems, including The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, and American Sublime, which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association's "Notable Books of the Year."

Advisory Editor Brad Leithauser is the author of five novels, a novel in verse, five volumes of poetry, a collection of light verse, and a book of essays. His poetry collections include Curves and Angles, The Odd Last Thing She Did, The Mail from Anywhere, Cats of the Temple, and Hundreds of Fireflies. Among his many awards and honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Grant, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Advisory Editor Joy Harjo's seven books of poetry include She Had Some Horses, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, and How We Became Human. Her poetry has garnered many awards including a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

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Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction:

This is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, or for required memorization and recitation. It's made just for you.

When I was younger, I wish I had possessed an anthology like this one-a compilation that brings poetry to life through words and recordings. In grammar school, I memorized the poems I discovered in a favorite poetry anthology my parents had given me. In high school, after my British Literature teacher introduced me to the work of William Butler Yeats, I began to understand how to write a poem. But in middle school there were no poetry anthologies compiled just for students and poetry was not taught in class. So I gravitated toward poets of the past and read William Shakespeare's love sonnets, trying to imitate them. I had no idea that poets were alive and writing. This anthology attempts to fill that void by offering poems about subjects that might express what's on your mind.

Youth inspires poets. So when we asked poets to send poems either that were important to them at your age or that they'd written about being your age, we received hundreds of submissions. Many writers try to capture those moments you may be thinking about now as you step into a new world.

We strived to create an anthology where you can discover poems about the changes taking place in your life. We offer first kiss poems like "Zodiac" or "The Skokie Theatre." If you've ever stood in the outfield, waiting to catch a fly ball, check out "Baseball." There are some Bar Mitzvah poems called "33" and "49." Poems about changing bodies such as "Bra Shopping." Poems about the times you think you hate your mother as in "The Adversary" and poems about loving her such as "Dear Mama (4)." Poems about loneliness like Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night." We even have a "Vampire Serenade." There are poems about navigating the turbulence of friendship like "Caroline" or the riptides of your parents' marriage as in "Mediation." We have paired classic poems with contemporary poems, from John Keats to Toi Derricotte, so you can read how poets throughout the ages have mulled over the same subjects.

Some poems will help you catch your breath, others will let you slowly exhale. Many of the poets traveled to studios to record their poems for Poetry Speaks Who I Am. When you listen to the CD, you will hear the immediacy of their words and the nuance of expression, and you will be able to hear and perhaps understand the poem from the poet's perspective.

In seventh grade, my friends and I would get together at each other's houses, listening for long afternoons to our favorite records. Older siblings introduced us to Carly Simon, James Taylor, Carole King, and we would sit and talk and sometimes just sit and listen to the songs, memorizing each one, playing them over and over in our minds. Let's hope that these poem recordings touch that same nerve for you and that they hold the same power that music did. Throughout my life, whenever I read a book I often scribble down a draft of a poem in the back pages. In Poetry Speaks Who I Am, you will find pages at the end where you can write down your own thoughts. Maybe some of the poems in this anthology will stir you to write some poems of your own.

We hope you will find inspiring company with these poems and with these poets. As the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes: "Live a while in these books..." So live a while with these poems.
-Elise Paschen

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Table of Contents

A Note from the Publisher xi
Introduction xiii
Poem titles/authors
Eternity Jason Shinder 1
Perhaps the World Ends Here Joy Harjo 2
Still I Rise Maya Angelou 4
Cinderella's Diary Ron Koertge 6
Vampire's Serenade Dana Gioia 7
Alone Edgar Allan Poe 8
Alone Siegfried Sassoon 9
Caroline Allison Joseph 10
"What are friends for...? Rosellen Brown 12
I Loved My Friend Langston Hughes 13
In the Fifth-Grade Locker Room Rebecca Lauren 14
Bra Shopping Parneshia Jones 16
Blood Charm Annie Finch 18
Pause Nikki Grimes 19
The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee N Scott Momaday 20
Indian Education Sherman Alexie 21
One Art Elizabeth Bishop 22
Here Arthur Sze 23
Haiku Sonia Sanchez 24
Good Girl Molly Peacock 25
Bad Boats Laura Jensen 26
No Images Waring Cuney 27
won't you celebrate with me Lucille Clifton 28
What I'm telling you Elizabeth Alexander 29
How I Learned to Sweep Julia Alvarez 30
Sonnet 130 William Shakespeare 32
Litany Billy Collins 33
A Teenage Couple Brad Leithauser 35
Free Period David Yezzi 36
Zodiac Elizabeth Alexander 38
The Skokie Theatre Edward Hirsch 39
Valentine Wendy Cope 41
An Angry Valentine Myra Cohn Livingston 42
What Great Grief Has Made the Empress Mute June Jordan 43
Mad Girl's Love Song Sylvia Plath 45
How We Heard the Name Alan Dugan 46
The Gladiator Kevin Prufer 47
Worth Marilyn Nelson 48
I Am A Black Gwendolyn Brooks 49
Lost Sister Cathy Song 51
Flash Cards Rita Dove 54
Arithmetic Carl Sandburg 55
Dream Variations Langston Hughes 56
Dreams Langston Hughes 57
Blackberry-picking Seamus Heaney 58
Manners Elizabeth Bishop 59
Mascara Elizabeth Spires 61
from For a Girl Becoming Joy Harjo 62
Every Day It Is Always There Rainy Ortiz 64
Dear Mama (4) Wanda Coleman 65
A Boy in a Bed in the Dark Brad Sachs 67
The Talk Sharon Olds 68
A Small Poem Calvin Forbes 69
Fears of the Eighth Grade Toi Derricotte 70
When I have fears that I may cease to be John Keats 71
Death of a Snowman Vernon Scannell 72
Oatmeal Galway Kinnell 73
Eating Poetry Mark Strand 75
The Bagel David Ignatow 76
Hope Is the Thing with Feathers Emily Dickinson77
If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking Emily Dickinson 78
The Duke's castle John Fuller 79
Ozymandias Percy Bysshe Shelley 80
The Sacred Stephen Dunn 81
The Road Not Taken Robert Frost 82
Prowess Samuel Menashe 83
What We Might Be, What We Are X J Kennedy 84
Sideman Paul Muldoon 85
XVIII Oh, when I was in love with you A E Housman 87
Sometimes with One I Love Walt Whitman 88
In the Desert Stephen Crane 89
Annabel Lee Edgar Allan Poe 90
The Summer of Black Widows Sherman Alexie 92
Permanently Kenneth Koch 94
A Dog on His Master Billy Collins 95
Mowing Midge Goldberg 96
Seal William Jay Smith 97
Seahorses Brad Leithauser 98
So Far Naomi Shihab Nye 101
The Germ Ogden Nash 102
Baseball Bill Zavatsky 103
Poetry Slalom Mary Jo Salter 106
How I Discovered Poetry Marilyn Nelson 107
Used Book Shop X J Kennedy 108
The Survivor Marilyn Chin 110
New Clothes Kay Ryan 111
Mediation Kim Stafford 112
A Fable Louise Glück 113
Houses Nancy Willard 114
Snowmen Agha Shahid Ali 115
The Floral Apron Marilyn Chin 116
Abuelito Who Sandra Cisneros 117
Legacies Nikki Giovanni 118
Instead of Her Own Molly Peacock 119
Tia Chucha Luis J Rodriguez 120
The Adversary Phyllis McGinley 122
What Your Mother Tells You Now Mitsuye Yamada 123
33 Philip Schultz 124
49 Philip Schultz 125
What Are Heavy? Christina Rossetti 126
The Wind Sara Teasdale 127
Acquainted with the Night Robert Frost 128
When You Are Old W B Yeats 129
"Nobody can counsel and help you" Rainer Maria Rilke 130
"Live a while in these books" Rainer Maria Rilke 131
Here Yet Be Dragons Lucille Clifton 132
Sedna Kimiko Hahn 133
The Writer Richard Wilbur 135
About the contributors 149
Acknowledgments 151
Permissions 153
Index 159

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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