Lindsey's Reviews > Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else

Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD by Elise Paschen
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's review
Mar 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: poetry

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.
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