by Michael Driscoll
illustrated by Meredith Hamilton
Black Dog and Levanthal Publishers, 2003
I'm not sure why it has taken me four years to find this book, but it has. I stumbled across this in a bookstore while I was doing Christmas shopping. I made this purchase for myself. This is a poetry anthology chock-ful of good information. It is almost a history of poetry with samples along the way.
This anthology is broken up into two sections. The first section talks about different types of poetry, explains them, and then gives lots of examples. If the poetry contains difficult words, definitions are included in a sidebar. There are little bubbles that tell which poems are located on the accompanying CD and which track they are on. This section covers nursery rhymes, nonsense verse, haiku, limerick, narrative verse and more.
The second part of this anthology is a history of a different sort. It contains biographical information about famous poets and prints some of their poems. It includes poet greats the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, Emily Dickenson, Walt Whitman, and more.
While it's picture book "look" might turn older readers away, this poetry anthology would really be a good resource for poetry readers of all ages. It has so much information packed into its two covers that might even help older poetry readers understand poems they read in school. It might even inspire older writers to try their hand at some various forms of poetry that are not as widely known today.
This book is going to make its way to school where I'll use it for my Poetry Fridays and as a general poetry reference.
In honor of Poetry Friday, I give you a limerick by Edward Lear:
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as a feared!--
Two owls and a hen,
Four larks and a wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard."
Poetry Friday roundup is at Becky's Book Reviews