Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers

Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers

by Betsy Franco (Editor)


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"The teen poets in this lively anthology knock greeting-card clichés even as they celebrate their romance and their passion...From the pain of breakup and denial to affection and desire, the feelings in these poems will ring true to gay and straight teens alike." — Booklist

"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.

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

About the Author

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

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


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.


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.



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:
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.


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

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