Thursday, April 7, 2011

Poetry Book Review: "Hopkins Award Poetry"


Myers, Walter Dean, and Christopher Myers. 2006. Jazz. New York: Holiday House. ISBN# 0823415457.


This poetry book is well recognized as a vibrant and enthusiastic peice of work. Myers uses poetry techniques such as rhythm, structure, and diction to create Jazz. The illustrations also add to create an exciting poetry book.

When reading a poem from Jazz, the reader instantly recognizes the rythym that has been strategically set in place. The words in the poetry act similar to muscial instruments. This poetry book would be a great way to introducte performance poetry to students.

Myers also uses poem structure to show different levels of his poetry. This helps break up the lines to better fit a song-like feel. In some poems, Myers repeats a stanza much like a chorus would within a song. The structure of the poetry also includes several kinds of font type. This includes different colors, fonts, and sizes. By breaking up the poems in this way Myers gives the poetry more spark and students will want to recite Jazz.

The illustrations in this book are done by Christopher Myers. He uses vivid illustration that help tell the story of these song-like poems. One technique that he uses is incorporating the images into the white space of the poem. He also uses instruments from the poetry rythym that entice the reader.

With these great poetry techniques, Jazz is beneficial for students learning about performace poetry. This book would be great to include students in different ways of reciting the poems.

Poem: "Strive"

We got jiving in our bones, and it won't leave us alone - we're really moving
jiving bones
We got pride in our stride, and we know it's all the style - we're steady grooving
pride stride
This piano's hard and driving, and the tones are getting to me - hear them talking
driving tones
There's a glide to the ride, and the feeling's coming through to me - the bass is walking
glide ride
I head singong in my heart, yes, it's art, no use in stalling
singing heart
I got jump in my feet, and I'm turning up heat, left hand hauling
jump feet
I'm out here swinging from the start, can't get no higher
swinging start
We got bump in the best where the crazy rythyms meet. This band's on fire!

Introducing the Poem:

This poem incorporates different types of lines and font style. Myers uses strong words to create an interesting feel to the poem. Every other line shows similar structure as well. Because of this, "Strive" would be a great poem to present to students.

I would introduce this poem to the students during a music lesson. This poetry uses many rythym techniques and references to songs. I would first read the poem to the class and show them the illustration. Next, I would give the students a copy of the poem and teach them how to recite the words that are italicized in the poem.

Once the students understand the lesson I would recite the main portion of the poem and have them recite back their portion. The children will respond positively to the performace piece and it will get them excited for their music lesson. This would be a great segway inbetween lessons.

By introducing the poem before a music lesson, children will create a link between music and poetry. This is beneficial for children to understand because it will help them to enjoy poetry more in the future. It will also help with their understanding of lyrics and songs.

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