Sunday, August 13, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Keep a Pocket in Your Poem


In his introduction, J. Patrick Lewis tells us that, "Sometimes, when I read a wonderful poem, I want to write a parody of it. For me, this is the best way to pay tribute to someone else's work." So he has taken a baker's dozen of his favorite poems and written his own partner verses. The poems are displayed on opposing pages with the acrylic illustrations showing what they have in common, or where they differ. The title poem is obviously his tribute to "Keep a Poem in Your Pocket" by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers. Other poets get a cheekier treatment, such as his "Stopping by the Fridge on a Hungry Evening" parody of the Robert Frost classic. Hughes, Prelutsky, Dickinson, Tennyson, Housman, Sandburg, Stevenson, Issa, McCord, and Fyleman are the other poets honored to be included in this collection.

Poetry readers will enjoy the book for its own merits, but I can imagine teachers using it to encourage students to pen their own rhymes during a poetry unit. Sometimes it is easier to imitate than to face a blank page and come up with something entirely your own, from rhyme scheme to subject. It would also make a good title to have on hand when talking about comparison and contrast, with its built-in pairs of texts ready to go.

I received a review copy from the publisher.

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