Sunday, April 14, 2013

In Celebration

In celebration of Young People's Poetry Week April 14-21 what better gift than a book for someone or maybe even yourself.
Caroline Kennedy's newest poetry anthology book Poems to Learn by Heart is magnificent. She collaborated with Jon Muth who illustrated her other book A Family of Poems.The exquisite rich watercolors in this new book complement each poem.     


This book has over 100 poems that speak to all of us;young readers, those new to poetry and devoted fans. 
It is divided into sections covering nature, seasons, sports, monsters and fairies, friendships, self and family and war. The poems chosen explore deep emotions as well as ordinary experiences. Literary masters are included as well as lesser known ones.
Each section is preceded with Kennedy's thoughtful reflections on poetry and the importance of memorizing a poem. 

Several things about this book caught my attention. I had really liked her previous book A Family of Poems so I knew I'd enjoy this one too. The enchanting sweet watercolor illustrations of Jon Muth are a perfect accompaniment to the poems. And lastly, just the title Poems to Learn by Heart drew me in.
Kennedy is a proponent of poem memorization which has been a lost art the past decades. Though she has been encouraged the past few years that poetry recitation is making a comeback with urban poetry slams, open-mic competitions and spoken word festivals. In the book's introduction she writes "Poetry has come out of solitary confinement to become an agent of empowerment and social change."  

Some of the poems in the book are short like this one called "Happy Thought".
Some poems in the book were average in length. This one required more than one reading for me to think more about the meaning.
How To Paint A Donkey
by Naomi Shihab Nye

She said the head was too large,
the hooves too small.

I could clean my paintbrush
but I couldn't get rid of that voice.

While they watched
I crumbled him,

let his blue body
stain my hand.

I cried when he hit the can.
She smiled. I could try again.

Maybe this is what I unfold in the dark,
deciding, for the rest of my life,
the donkey was just the right size. 











And some poems in the book were several pages long included in the book section called Extra Credit "Casey at the Bat" and "Paul Revere's Ride."
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Asian Slaw
a salad with a crunch
Cook's notes: I listed the ingredients used in this salad. It is up to the cook's discretion what quantity to use depending on the number of people being served.
An option for this salad is omitting tomatoes and substituting mandarin orange pieces.
Ingredients:
  • 1 package of cole slaw mix (produce section)
  • chopped tomatoes-drained on a paper towel
  • sugar snap peas (broccoli could be substituted)
  • diced red or yellow peppers
  • cashews or peanuts
  • Wonton strips Garlic Ginger (Fresh Gourmet brand found in produce section 3.5 oz. package)
  • Wishbone Lite Asian with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette-just a drizzle or two 
Directions:
Mix up ingredients except wonton strips and nuts-refrigerate one hour before serving
Add wonton strips and nuts right before serving


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