Whisper and Shout: Poems to Memorize

Whisper and Shout: Poems to Memorize

by Patrice Vecchione
     
 

From John Updike’s “Player Piano” to Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing,” from Lucille Clifton’s “the earth is a living thing” to Gelett Burgess’s “The Purple Cow,” these poems tumble from children’s tongues and dance with their tapping toes. Whether joyous, rhythmic, solemn, or

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Overview

From John Updike’s “Player Piano” to Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing,” from Lucille Clifton’s “the earth is a living thing” to Gelett Burgess’s “The Purple Cow,” these poems tumble from children’s tongues and dance with their tapping toes. Whether joyous, rhythmic, solemn, or simple silly fun, poetry learned by heart has a lasting claim on children’s affections and a permanent home in their hearts. The introduction includes tips for teaching kids how to memorize poems. Vecchione presents a selection of verses with rhythms, themes, and wordplay that especially appeal to middle graders.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whisper and Shout: Poems to Memorize, ed. by Patrice Vecchione, offers up more than 50 poems for kids to commit to memory, from Gwendolyn Brooks's opening call to action, "Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress-Toward" to e.e. cummings's alliterative "maggie and milly and molly and may" to Langston Hughes and Shakespeare. The volume concludes with brief biographies and a suggested reading list for each poet. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
There are as many reasons for memorizing a poem as there are poems. In her well-written introduction, Vecchione discusses not only why someone would want to memorize a poem, but also provides some tips about learning that poem by heart. There are thirty-eight poets represented in this collection of fifty-two poems. Poets such as Shakespeare, Edna St. Vincent Millay, T. S. Elliot, and Herman Melville are here. So are Nikki Giovani, Paul Fleischman, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Ashley Bryan. Several of the poems are traditional, anonymous, or from a culture that did not ascribe a particular author (such as the Cherokee poem). There are long and short and pensive and humorous poems in the six sections�Poems About Life, Wordplay Poems, Poems of Family and Friends, Humorous Poems, The Natural World, and Wisdom and Wonder. With such a variety, a reader will certainly find a poem to memorize. I've already marked mine. The back of the book includes brief biographical information about each poet and suggested books by and about that person. There is an index of titles, an index of first lines and an index of authors.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-This collection of 55 poems, some of them excerpts from longer works, covers a range of styles and moods, from the nonsense of Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussy-cat" to William Shakespeare's famous "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow-" soliloquy. Vecchione's lengthy introduction presents an emotional case for memorizing poetry, an educational practice that may be due for a revival. To encourage "The Poetry Habit," the editor says, "Pick your favorite poems from this collection, and give them away, or keep them tucked safe in your heart and mind." Some of the selections are readily available in many anthologies (Langston Hughes's "Dream Deferred," Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing"). Others are less well-known, like e. e. cummings's lovely "maggie and milly and molly and may," which describes a day at the beach ("milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were"). The book's design is appealing and accessible, with lots of white space and simple illustrations (silhouettes of boys and girls) here and there. Overall, though, while there are many excellent poems included and the editor's heart is in the right place, the book suffers from trying to cover too wide an age range.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Vecchione follows her very successful anthology Truth and Lies (2000) with a smart collection of poetry for slightly younger readers. In her introduction, she explains that knowing a poem can fill all sorts of needs, just shortening a trip or remembering a special time. She suggests that there are poems to keep to oneself and poems to recite to one's friends, loud poems and quiet ones, funny or sad, each with its own virtues. Then she gives some tips on how to memorize-whether the piece has a rhyme or not-and what to listen for as you read. There's something for everyone here, whether from Wordplay or from the Poems about Life, the Natural World, or those that are just plain funny. There's hardly a poet who isn't represented somewhere along the way: Langston Hughes to Shel Silverstein, e.e. cummings to Emily Dickinson. Others include Carl Sandburg, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Theodore Roethke, May Swenson, Paul Fleischman, and, yes, William Shakespeare. There are traditional rhymes like "I love you little, I love you lots"; familiar anonymous ones like "I saw Esau" or "Whether the weather be fine . . ."; and riddles, limericks, and a Cherokee prayer. Some poets who might have been fun are missing: Karla Kuskin, for instance, and not enough newer poets are represented-Naomi Shihab Nye, Marilyn Singer, or Janet S. Wong. But still, this is a great start and at 50 or so selections, not so overwhelming that a reader couldn't find something-or several somethings-right off. Biographical resources include choices for further reading of each poet. A keeper. (Poetry. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812626568
Publisher:
Cricket Books
Publication date:
03/07/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
932,450
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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