Friday, January 7, 2011

Poetry Friday

Forget tedious poetry exercises - if you'd like to share the wonder of poetry with a child of any age, read this to them. Randall Jarrell - author of one of my favourite poems, Seele Im Raum - wrote The Bat-Poet,  a treasure of a book.

It concerns a young bat - an 'outsider' bat - who likes to think and listen and keep his eyes open past dawn. When he hears the mockingbird sing, he begins to make songs of his own, finally realising that "If you get the words right you don't need a tune." 

He composes poems about the world and the creatures around him and, at last, about his own kind. Maurice Sendak illustrates the tale with delicate, involved black and white pictures. Yes, the story introduces rhyme, metre, metaphor and rhyme scheme. If you wanted to turn this book into a lesson, you could.

Its real value lies elsewhere; in Jarrell's evocation of the poetic process and of how observation and memory, emotion and love of language create a poet and a poet's work.

Seele Im Raum - go read it!

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