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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 grit 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. (20100421)


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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 grit 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. (20100421)

30 review for Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else (A Poetry Speaks Experience)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    In spite of having a poet for a mother (or perhaps because of it) I have never come to terms with poetry. Which is not to say that I didn’t try. As a kid I would pluck up a collection of the stuff and try to read through it. I was handed poems in elementary, middle, and high school with regularity, but I didn’t quite understand why snowy woods were any more important in stanzas than in paragraphs. Poetry seemed like something I should like, but I never found the right way to get a taste for it. In spite of having a poet for a mother (or perhaps because of it) I have never come to terms with poetry. Which is not to say that I didn’t try. As a kid I would pluck up a collection of the stuff and try to read through it. I was handed poems in elementary, middle, and high school with regularity, but I didn’t quite understand why snowy woods were any more important in stanzas than in paragraphs. Poetry seemed like something I should like, but I never found the right way to get a taste for it. Kids today may have it easier. There are verse novels and books like Love That Dog and Locomotion to help them get a better grip on poetry. There are collections like A Kick in the Head or A Poke in the I to teach them various forms. But why should they care? What does poetry really say firsthand to them? Poetry Speaks Who I Am aims to make them care. It's a collection of 108 poems by poets alive, dead, and otherwise has been carefully selected and crafted collection to mirror the hopes and fears of kids and teens today. It says that it is for tween and young teens, and yea verily I agree. If I had read this book as a young 'un, maybe I would have a great love of poetry now. Of course after reading this I have to think that maybe it’s never too late to learn. 108 poems. A range of different poets. In this book big themes are tackled headlong aside smaller concerns. “I Am Black” by Gwendolyn Books on one page. “The Germ” by Ogden Nash on another. These poems discuss love, parents, death, animals, and more. They try to make sense of our world. You will find Shakespeare on one page and Billy Collins on the other. Poets of every race and ethnicity have their say until by the end you’ve the feeling that every person reading this book could find at least one poem in here that speaks to them. One poem in here that will help them figure out who they are, and what they can be. Includes a CD of many poets reading their own works. The editing job on this book is pretty fabulous. Selecting the right poems in the first place couldn’t have been a picnic. Let’s say you want to include one work of Shakespeare. How do you decide which poem is the most accessible? I happen to agree with the editors that Sonnet 130 was the right way to go, but I’m sure there are folks out there who’d disagree. Still, each poem in this book feels especially chosen. This is borne out by the particular thematic pairings you run across as you read. Wendy Cope’s “Valentine” alongside Myra Cohn Livingston’s “An Angry Valentine” is particularly fun since the two play off of one another. There’s the strange math at work in both Rita Dove’s “Flash Cards” and Carl Sandburg’s “Arithmetic”. And the angry siblings of “A Boy in a Bed in the Dark” by Brad Sachs and “The Talk” by Sharon Olds. Wonderful pairings all. Then I had to consider the age of this book when I read it. It says it’s for tweens as well as kids in their early teens. True? Well, there are poems like “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou that ask, “Does my sexiness upset you? / Does it come as a surprise / That I dance like I’ve got diamonds / At the meeting of my thighs?” And sure “The Skokie Theatre” by Edward Hirsch mentions briefly a girl touching a boy below his belt, but they are fleeting allusions. Older kids won’t be shocked. Their parents might, but those parents probably won’t be handing this book to their ten-year-olds anyway. So there’s that. And many of the poems in this book are about kids themselves. Do poems about kids necessarily mean that they are for kids? Not always (not originally either) but a lot of the time it works just the same. Part of the allure of any book of poetry is that you can pick and choose where to begin and where to end. Kids may read and reread their favorites and eschew the others in the book, only to stumble across them later and find, to their surprise, that they love them. Reading the book cover to cover has its advantages, though. The editors begin with poems about poetry. “Eternity” by Jason Shinder and “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo have that feel. Halfway through the book you run into “From For a Girl Becoming” by Joy Harjo (again), which offers advice on how to live. And at the end is Richard Wilbur’s “The Writer”, about a kid writing on a typewriter. Typewriters are gone now, but you can tell that the book hopes that kids will find inspiration here to write their own poems next. How kids make this collection their own stands to be considered. Certainly the book bends over backwards to be accessible. There are blank pages in the back for writing one’s own poems. The size of the book is comfortable, not too big, and not too small. The layout looks part notebook, part zine, with scribbled and scrawled drawings in the margins. And then there is the CD. The accompanying CD of poets reading their poems piqued my curiosity. It is possible that it will primarily be used by teachers wishing to make a daily lesson in poetry a little more interesting. But will kids listen to this CD at all? Do kids even listen to CDs these days, I wonder. Many do. And there may be some that take the CD and place selections from it onto mix CDs or put it on their mp3 players for easy listening. We can’t predict how a kid will deal with something like this, but I’m fairly certain that it will find a use. Not everywhere. Not with everyone. But for a couple kids, they’ll make it their own. It is true that you will find many races represented on these pages. It irked me a little that the same could not be said of sexualities. Admittedly, this is a book for tweens and teens and coming-of-age sexuality is the stuff of older fare. Still and all, it felt like a gap. I don’t know what the solution would have been, but there are enough love poems in here discussing folks of opposite genders to include just one by folks of the same, don’t you think? I had high hopes for Edward Hirsch’s “The Skokie Theatre” until the Chris in the story turned out to be a girl. Doggone it. So maybe not all kids will find themselves represented here after all. I run a bookgroup for kids between the ages of 9 and 14. They’re good kids, but such a strange range of ages that sometimes it’s hard to find materials for all of them. They tend to want to read fantasy or realistic fiction titles. I look at Poetry Speaks Who I Am, though, and I think of how great it would be to do this book with them. Even kids who don’t like poetry could find one or two in here to enjoy (my favorite turned out to be Paul Muldoon’s “Sideman”). It’s been created for the purpose of getting kids to actually enjoy and identify with poems. It doesn’t pressure them to “get” anything. It doesn’t quiz them or force them to like or not like something. It’s just a fun book built to be enjoyed. All we can hope for is for it to get into the right hands. And that’s where the adults come in. Ages 10 and up.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Neuschwander

    Poetry speaks, but not every poem speaks to me. Still, it's refreshing to find a poem that grips my heart like Stephen Crane's desert creature on page 89. Here are my Top Ten (okay, 13) favorites from this anthology. 1. The Writer - Richard Wilbur, p. 135-6 2. When You Are Old - W.B. Yeats, p. 129 3. What Are Heavy? Christina Rossetti p.126 4. Houses - Nancy Willard, p. 114 5. Permanently - Kenneth Koch, p. 94 6. In the Desert - Stephen Crane, p. 89 7. If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking - Emily Dick Poetry speaks, but not every poem speaks to me. Still, it's refreshing to find a poem that grips my heart like Stephen Crane's desert creature on page 89. Here are my Top Ten (okay, 13) favorites from this anthology. 1. The Writer - Richard Wilbur, p. 135-6 2. When You Are Old - W.B. Yeats, p. 129 3. What Are Heavy? Christina Rossetti p.126 4. Houses - Nancy Willard, p. 114 5. Permanently - Kenneth Koch, p. 94 6. In the Desert - Stephen Crane, p. 89 7. If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking - Emily Dickinson, p. 78 8. Mad Girl’s Love Song - Sylvia Plath, p. 45 9. Summer of Black Widows - Sherman Alexie, p. 92-3 10. So Far - Naomi Shihab Nye p. 101 11. How I Discovered Poetry - Marilyn Nelson, p. 107 12. Poetry Slalom - Mary Jo Salter, p. 106 13. A Fable - Louise Glück, p. 113

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I'm not too big into poetry but with compilations like these, I tend to grab onto them. In this case, the editors did an amazing job of compiling old and new work into a compendium of poignant and touching poetry for teenagers (and really, anyone that's still a teenager on the inside). You have Langston Hughes, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou and Percy Bysshe Shelley mixed in with more current writers like Sherman Alexie and Nikki Giovanni. The editors chose perfect poems from the past that, despit I'm not too big into poetry but with compilations like these, I tend to grab onto them. In this case, the editors did an amazing job of compiling old and new work into a compendium of poignant and touching poetry for teenagers (and really, anyone that's still a teenager on the inside). You have Langston Hughes, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou and Percy Bysshe Shelley mixed in with more current writers like Sherman Alexie and Nikki Giovanni. The editors chose perfect poems from the past that, despite their age, young adults of today can still relate to and they can still be touched by them. Some of my favorites were Caroline by Allison Joseph (about teasing and protecting), In the Fifth-Grade Locker Room by Rebecca Lauren (about chicks and puberty), Bra Shopping by Parneshia Jones (I don't think I even need to explain), Dream Variations and Dreams, both by Langston Hughes (because Hughes is a poetry god and can do no wrong), Oatmeal by Galway Kinnell (about going it alone, or not), If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking by Emily Dickinson (yet another slightly reclusive and batty poetry goddess), Ozymandia by Percy Bysshe Shelley (one of the best poems I've ever read about the fading of popularity, basically), The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (a classic about standing up on your own), and the first prose by Rainer Maria Rilke (on writing). Personally I don't think it's fair to review the individual poems because poetry is something so intensely subjective (moreso than novels, I think) that it just wouldn't do them justice. I didn't think any of them bad at all but I loved some more than others. I didn't listen to the CD as I'm not a fan of actually listening to poetry but I'm sure it would only heighten the effect of reading the work on its own. As I said, the editors did an awesome job of compiling such great works and I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has even a slight interest in poetry. Even if you don't, it's a quick read and you never know; you might just get something out of it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Casey Strauss

    Poetry Speaks Who I Am is an anthology of poetry edited by Elise Paschen and Dominique Raccah. This book contains 108 poems written by poets from differing time periods. From Shakespeare to Langston Hughes to Billy Collins, a wide range of perspectives are covered. Even though the voices are different, there is a common theme through all of the poems selected; adolescence and the common coming of age topics we all struggle with. The note from the publisher as well as the introduction makes it cl Poetry Speaks Who I Am is an anthology of poetry edited by Elise Paschen and Dominique Raccah. This book contains 108 poems written by poets from differing time periods. From Shakespeare to Langston Hughes to Billy Collins, a wide range of perspectives are covered. Even though the voices are different, there is a common theme through all of the poems selected; adolescence and the common coming of age topics we all struggle with. The note from the publisher as well as the introduction makes it clear that this is a book for middle school students. Along with the book is a CD with selected poems read aloud by the poets who wrote them. Forty-four of the poems are included on the audio CD; some of them have introductions by the poets, with explanations as to what inspired the poem. This is a very complete collection of poems that any middle school student can read and relate to. I definitely plan on using some of these poems with my seventh grade students. Even though the introduction says that this is a personal collection just for students to enjoy, I think that it could definitely be used in the classroom. That being said, I did have mixed feelings regarding the accompanying CD. Some poets introduce themselves, give background, say the title of the poem, and begin to read. Others just jump right into the poem without any introduction or title, which is confusing. The book is organized well however and there are notes at the top of the page correlating the poem with the CD and track number, which makes it easier to maneuver when listening. I did enjoy listening to Molly Peacock read “Good Girl”, because she gave the background story to the poem, and what inspired her to write it. I think that certain selections on the CD would be well suited for classroom use. Many of the themes of the poems include common experiences of middle school students like bra shopping, first loves, family situations, etc. What I also like about this book is that it was created with middle school students specifically in mind, the publishers note and introduction are both written specifically to this age group, which I think sets a more personal tone to this anthology.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Poetry Speaks Who I Am is an anthology of poetry meant for middle and high school students. The editor makes the point at the beginning that so many anthologies are meant for children or for adults, and that there are few put together for young adults. The poems in this book are a balance of contemporary poems and classic poems ( Annabel Lee, Poe) that still manage to be relevant today. The topics are ones that middle and high school readers to connect to. The poems range from silly (Death of a Poetry Speaks Who I Am is an anthology of poetry meant for middle and high school students. The editor makes the point at the beginning that so many anthologies are meant for children or for adults, and that there are few put together for young adults. The poems in this book are a balance of contemporary poems and classic poems ( Annabel Lee, Poe) that still manage to be relevant today. The topics are ones that middle and high school readers to connect to. The poems range from silly (Death of a Snowman, Scannell), to serious (Fears of the Eighth Grade, Derricotte) about growing up in a war zone. Some are about the power of poetry (Eternity, Shinder), some are about growing up (Bra Shopping, Jones), some are about love (Litany, Collins). The book is arranged by topic, and there are more topics than I have mentioned. The poems are written in a variety of poetic forms. Some of the poems are very straightforward while others contain a lot of symbolism and are more challenging to read and understand. The format of the book is appropriate to the target age group. Each poem has its own page, and there would occasionally be a doodle, but there were no other pictures. The edges of the pages had a spray paint looking border, and the titles looked stenciled in, making for a clean yet interesting presentation. There are a few poems that address sexuality or race in a way that could be considered controversial, but the topics were realistically covered in relation to the intended audience. I would have no problem including it in my middle school classroom library. This book would be great for introducing kids who think they do not like poetry to poems that are more relevant to their lives. I would make this book available for students to read and enjoy and possibly find inspiration to write their own poems. I might also include the following books in a middle or high school library for poetry: Locomotion, Bronx Masquerade, Out of the Dust, Birmingham 1963, Here in Harlem, Hip Hop Speaks to Children, and Hugging the Rock, to name a few.

  6. 5 out of 5

    N_patricia Brunner

    Poetry Speaks, Who am I is an amazing inspirational anthology of 108 poems designed to appeal to young teens. I listened to the audio NON PRINT CD as well as read the text. This collection consists of classic and contemporary selections including Dream Variations by Langston Hughes, Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost, In the Fifth Grade Locker Room by Molly Peacock, and The Skokie Theatre by Edward Hirsch. This collection of poems explores various themes including simple truths and profo Poetry Speaks, Who am I is an amazing inspirational anthology of 108 poems designed to appeal to young teens. I listened to the audio NON PRINT CD as well as read the text. This collection consists of classic and contemporary selections including Dream Variations by Langston Hughes, Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost, In the Fifth Grade Locker Room by Molly Peacock, and The Skokie Theatre by Edward Hirsch. This collection of poems explores various themes including simple truths and profound ideas of racial and ethnic identity, love, friendship, and family life. The poems are personal and universal and will draw the reader in to discover who they are and who they would like to become. The editor has compiled an excellent selection of poems that will capture the reader’s attention and invite them to develop the love of poetry. The audio CD is an engaging pairing to the text. Several of the poets read their own work. The table of contents is a good resource for locating the poems that are on the audio. The poems in the text look like they may have been typed on recycled paper and this design feels comfortable and enhances the appeal of this creative collection. Also included in the back of the book are blank sheets of lined paper inviting the reader to write down their own thoughts, reflections and maybe even write their own poems. This book of poetry will appeal to preteens and teens in grades five through ten. It is a book that students will choose to read some parts or all again and again. Teachers will want to recommend this book to encourage teens to read poetry they can relate to and be inspired by. The audio CD can be used for read alouds in the classroom or be used for students to listen to at home with their mp3 players.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I loved the CD-component of this book. Now that I've listened to the CD, I have mixed feelings about it. Some of the poets are excellent readers that I can tell my students will like listening to. Others read at a snail's pace or just have very jarring voices. Also, the poets do not follow a uniform pattern. Some introduce themselves; some don't. Some read the title; others skip it. A few of the poets record in venues that are very echo-y. Overall, I feel like the CD could have been much more ef I loved the CD-component of this book. Now that I've listened to the CD, I have mixed feelings about it. Some of the poets are excellent readers that I can tell my students will like listening to. Others read at a snail's pace or just have very jarring voices. Also, the poets do not follow a uniform pattern. Some introduce themselves; some don't. Some read the title; others skip it. A few of the poets record in venues that are very echo-y. Overall, I feel like the CD could have been much more effective. I bought this book thinking it was for all teenagers, but the introduction seemed to imply this book was geared to middle school readers. I wish that would have been made clearer on the cover. Oh well. The poems in this collection speak to teens of all ages, and I was pleased to find some great examples to share with my creative writing students. I'm glad a wide range of poems was included: free verse, rhyming, specific forms, silly, and serious. Emily Dickinson fans, beware: They have left out her trademark capital letters and dashes. Not sure why they would do that. Favorites: Perhaps the World Ends Here Cinderella's Diary Vampire's Serenade I Loved My Friend No Images What Great Grief Had Made the Empress Mute Arithmetic Dreams Blackberry-picking A Boy in a Bed in the Dark Death of a Snowman Eating Poetry The Sacred What We Might Be, What We Are Permanently A Dog on His Master Mowing Seal Baseball Used Book Shop Mediation A Fable What Are Heavy? Acquainted with the Night The Writer

  8. 5 out of 5

    Haley Mathiot

    Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection of classic and contemporary poetry aimed at addressing middle schoolers in their transition from child to young adult. There is a wide range in the collection: classic poetry like Edgar Allan Poe, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson and newer and present poets, some of whom read their work on the accompanying CD. Poetry Speaks Who I Am has many poems that will apply to every feeling and thought, put words to what we can’t find words for, and prove that yes, Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection of classic and contemporary poetry aimed at addressing middle schoolers in their transition from child to young adult. There is a wide range in the collection: classic poetry like Edgar Allan Poe, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson and newer and present poets, some of whom read their work on the accompanying CD. Poetry Speaks Who I Am has many poems that will apply to every feeling and thought, put words to what we can’t find words for, and prove that yes, there are other people out there who feel like you do now, you’re not the only one. You’re not alone. These poets talk about everything from the awkwardness of changing and showering in the fifth grade locker room to embarrassing bra shopping with mom, to a first kiss. There’s poems about segregation and ethnicity, homework and math class, sports, clothes, and even the emotions brought forth from reading poetry itself. Not only does it have the poetry, there are pages in the back of artistic inspiring blank pieces of paper for the reader’s own poetry. The CD contains many of the poems read by the poets the way they were intended to be read. Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a fantastic collection that every young lit-lover should have on their shelves. Recommendation: Boys and Girls ages 8+

  9. 5 out of 5

    CH13_Meghan Schultz

    Poetry Speaks is an anthology that begins by informing readers that, "this is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, or for required memorization and recitation. It's just made for you." This collection comprises over 100 poems written by award-winning authors such as: Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Nikki Grimes, Robert Frost, etc. The purpose of the anthology is to share with readers poems that discuss topics important to young adults--first love, friendships, new Poetry Speaks is an anthology that begins by informing readers that, "this is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, or for required memorization and recitation. It's just made for you." This collection comprises over 100 poems written by award-winning authors such as: Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Nikki Grimes, Robert Frost, etc. The purpose of the anthology is to share with readers poems that discuss topics important to young adults--first love, friendships, new clothes, self-discovery. Additionally, this anthology is accompanied by a CD. There are 44 poems read by 35 different authors, some of the poems are even read by the authors! As a reader who loves to listen to audio books, this CD really brought the emotions conveyed through the words in the book to life. Some poems are read with passion, others with anger, and yet others with great sadness. This book would make for an excellent independent reading book for a middle school or high school student. Additionally, some of these poems would make for wonderful discussion starters for middle school or high school students who can identify with the author's emotions.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    My freshman year of High school I fell in love with poetry after doing a unit of it in English class. I wrote for years and years after that and even got a few published. But since becoming obsessed with books I haven't done much writing. But when I was offered to review this book, I grabbed at the chance. Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a wonderful book, this is type of tool I wish I had back when I was learning about poetry. In this book there are some of the greatest poets and some of my favorites. My freshman year of High school I fell in love with poetry after doing a unit of it in English class. I wrote for years and years after that and even got a few published. But since becoming obsessed with books I haven't done much writing. But when I was offered to review this book, I grabbed at the chance. Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a wonderful book, this is type of tool I wish I had back when I was learning about poetry. In this book there are some of the greatest poets and some of my favorites. Some of the poets included are Maya Angelou, Edgar Allen Poe, Langston Hughes, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and William Shakespeare. Not only does it hold all these great poets but it also comes with a CD with some of the featured authors reading their work. Plus in the back of the book there is space to write your own words. While this is aimed for young adults., I believe readers of all ages will enjoy this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tallulah Schweitz

    Book review #4. To find who you are, is like a level in life. In Elise Paschen's "Poetry speaks, who I am", steps are taken as poems are written to exhibit the stride of growing up. The element of inspiration is a key component in these poems. The separate poems all have something special and different about them, but they all have something that is connected between them all. Finding independence is part of life and a constituent of these poems. Finding who you are can decide what type of pers Book review #4. To find who you are, is like a level in life. In Elise Paschen's "Poetry speaks, who I am", steps are taken as poems are written to exhibit the stride of growing up. The element of inspiration is a key component in these poems. The separate poems all have something special and different about them, but they all have something that is connected between them all. Finding independence is part of life and a constituent of these poems. Finding who you are can decide what type of person you will be and what you will do when you're older. Discovery is an essential component of this breathtaking collection of poems. From inspiration to discovery, this book is more just a poetry book, it is a collection of stories that tell of life through thick and thin.

  12. 5 out of 5

    April

    First things first, Happy National Poetry Month! I thought I would kick off my own personal celebration of poetry by reviewing Poetry Speaks: Who I Am. I think poetry is such an amazing outlet for healthy expression. I honestly don't know where I would be if I was not a member of poetry club in high school. So, when an anthology aimed at middle grade/high schoolers comes along, then yes, count me among the curious, because, ya'll poetry changes lives. Read the rest of my review here First things first, Happy National Poetry Month! I thought I would kick off my own personal celebration of poetry by reviewing Poetry Speaks: Who I Am. I think poetry is such an amazing outlet for healthy expression. I honestly don't know where I would be if I was not a member of poetry club in high school. So, when an anthology aimed at middle grade/high schoolers comes along, then yes, count me among the curious, because, ya'll poetry changes lives. Read the rest of my review here

  13. 5 out of 5

    Indigo Cat

    My favorite poem was about black widow spiders. I loved how the poet compared them to stories. For example, the poet says something like, when we went to bed, we shook our blankets, and stories fell out. Does the poet want you to think in terms of dreams as stories, literally spiders falling out, or that you leave behind your thoughts when you sleep? Infinite ways to think about it. There are many intriguing poems in this book, including classics such as The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. If yo My favorite poem was about black widow spiders. I loved how the poet compared them to stories. For example, the poet says something like, when we went to bed, we shook our blankets, and stories fell out. Does the poet want you to think in terms of dreams as stories, literally spiders falling out, or that you leave behind your thoughts when you sleep? Infinite ways to think about it. There are many intriguing poems in this book, including classics such as The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. If you find that you don't like some of them, don't worry. That's the reason I didn't give this a 5; some of the poems were bleh. However, there are enough good poems that you should still read it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This book is a gem. I think for any Middle School library, it is a must.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Gwerder

    This is an anthology of poetry written specifically for teenagers. It sets modern poets next to well-known poets - both exploring similar themes. All of the topics relate directly to teens: first periods, bra shopping, relationships, and identity crises. This would be a great book to introduce during a poetry unit - not to be analyzed, but to show students that poetry is still relevant and can take on any form they choose. It might be helpful in inspiring students to write their own poems to wri This is an anthology of poetry written specifically for teenagers. It sets modern poets next to well-known poets - both exploring similar themes. All of the topics relate directly to teens: first periods, bra shopping, relationships, and identity crises. This would be a great book to introduce during a poetry unit - not to be analyzed, but to show students that poetry is still relevant and can take on any form they choose. It might be helpful in inspiring students to write their own poems to write a class anthology.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Maher

    A great poetry book for the middle school ages. The poetry in this book is written by various authors, some young and some older. The theme in this book is about identity. Poems about adolescent life changes such as bra shopping, death, and the opposite sex. Poems are no to sexual or mature for the middle school age, but just enough to help make a connection with the reader. A plus is that it come with an audio CD of all the poems!

  17. 4 out of 5

    太一 邱

    This book is one of the most cool book I have ever read. There are some many different types of poem in this book. From love story to even fantasy, the book has ever type of poem that you are looking for. Other than just putting poems on, the book also gives out picture than kind of show the theme of the book. This gave the readers a better understanding of the poem and the meaning behind it. Some of the poem really catches my attention and I hope to read more about it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason Robinson

    Keeping in account that this collection is primarily geared towards the YA/ Teen market, it is a fairly generic, general, yet inoffensive collection. Just an average read for someone who has read and written a lot of poetry.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I know I missed a lot of the point of this book by not listening to the CD, but I love the selection of poems -- old and new, light and heavy -- and didn't need to go further; and besides it is rare that I enjoy a poet's reading her own poem which is heresy! but there it is.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I have been randomly opening the pages of this anthology and discovering marvels each time. Of course some of the poems speak to me louder than others, but it is a wonderful collection, thoughtfully put together and I am enjoying losing myself in poetry!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    This is...a strange collection. Classic and modern poets are all mixed together with little rhyme or reason. As enjoyment of poetry is subjective, I'll say most of these weren't for me, but some of them were quite lovely.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Good variety of poems, I think even though the book is intended for teens, I'm in my 60's and I enjoyed it! Comes with a CD, with some of the poems in the book read by their authors. Cool book

  23. 4 out of 5

    KylieHerrmann

    Not really what I expected when I read it...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Nothing very special about this collection. Some were very bad poems, most were pretty average, but there were some hidden gems. But overall it wasn't very impressive but bearable.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    I loved this book! It had many great poems of different variety that were very well-written and inspiring.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    This was a good book of poetry...I did find a couple of interesting poems.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jaq

    A good collection of poems.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Some really good poems in this book that I’d never heard of before. Worth the read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Poetry Speaks Who I Am is on my favorites shelf because there is such a variety of different kinds of poems for students to read: classic poems, new and contemporary poems, and poems that everyone has heard of. I think any student is bound to find a poem they like in this book because they are all so different. I also like this book because it focuses on the reader. A lot of the poems have to do with figuring out who you are and who you want to be in life. This poetry book is extremely relate-ab Poetry Speaks Who I Am is on my favorites shelf because there is such a variety of different kinds of poems for students to read: classic poems, new and contemporary poems, and poems that everyone has heard of. I think any student is bound to find a poem they like in this book because they are all so different. I also like this book because it focuses on the reader. A lot of the poems have to do with figuring out who you are and who you want to be in life. This poetry book is extremely relate-able to the middle readers because a lot of them are going through a stage in life where they are trying to figure out where their place is in this world. I can see this book really speaking to kids as they read through the poems. In the classroom, I can see teachers using this book in a couple different ways. First, I can see them using it as a way of teaching poetry term like: alliteration, personification, hyperbole, and onomatopoeia. Second, I can see teachers using this book to draw connections from a poem to their own lives.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    Elise Paschen’s Poetry Speaks Who I Am combines written verse with audio recitation of poetry by the poets themselves on CDs spark young readers’ love of poetry and verse. Readers between the ages of 11 and 14 will find poems in this volume that speak to their struggles with love, family, growing into adulthood, and making friends. “[Paschen says,:] For me this poetry is life altering. It’s gritty. It’s difficult. And it hurts in all the ways that growing hurts. It’s meant to be visceral and imme Elise Paschen’s Poetry Speaks Who I Am combines written verse with audio recitation of poetry by the poets themselves on CDs spark young readers’ love of poetry and verse. Readers between the ages of 11 and 14 will find poems in this volume that speak to their struggles with love, family, growing into adulthood, and making friends. “[Paschen says,:] For me this poetry is life altering. It’s gritty. It’s difficult. And it hurts in all the ways that growing hurts. It’s meant to be visceral and immediate. It’s meant to be experienced.” (Page XI) Gritty and real are the best terms to describe the struggles within these lines of verse, from being the only white kid in school to being a Black person at a time when political correctness suggests you are African-America. But more than that, there are poems about bra shopping — the stepping stones of becoming a woman — and the realization that the world is not perfect and that wars do exist. Bra Shopping by Parneshia Jones (Page 16) Mama and I enter into no man’s, and I mean no man in sight, land of frilly lace, night gowns, grandma panties, and support everything. A wall covered with hundreds of white bras, some with lace, ribbons, and frills like party favors, as if bras are a cause for celebration. Some have these dainty ditsy bows in the middle. That’s a nice accent don’t you think? Mama says. Isn’t that cute? Like a dumb bow in the middle of the bra will take away some of the attention from two looking, bulging tissues. Full of wit and sarcasm, this poem illustrates the angst and embarrassment of the narrator as she shops for bras with her mother under the watchful eye of the sales clerk. A number of poems illustrate these feelings of awkwardness and tenderness between friends and parents. The audio CD that comes with the book is stunning as each poem is read with emphasis and care either by the poet themselves or a contemporary counterpart. In some cases, the poems are accompanied by ambient noise and/or nature sounds. Some poems will garner young readers’ attentions more than others, but overall the CD works. Used Book Shop by X.J. Kennedy (Page 108) Stashed in attics, stuck in cellars, forgotten books once big best-sellers now hopefully sit where folks, like cows in grassy meadows, stand and browse. In a yellowed old history of Jesse James two earlier owners had scrawled their names. I even found a book my dad when he was in high school had once had, and a book I found – this is really odd – was twice as much fun as my new iPod. I always get hooked in this dusty shop. Like eating popcorn, it’s hard to stop. Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a wonderful collection of classic and contemporary poems from the likes of Langston Hughes and Lucille Clifton to the contemporary works of Billy Collins and Molly Peacock. Each poem will reach out to young adolescents in new and exciting ways, having them nod their heads in agreement as emotions, situations, and dilemmas are unleashed in verse. Moreover, the poems selected in this volume will not have readers scratching their heads, wondering what it all means. These poems are straight forward and get to the heart of the adolescent matter.

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