Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Dizzy in Your Eyes; Poems About Love
Mora, Pat. 2010. DIZZY IN YOUR EYES; POEMS ABOUT LOVE. New York: Knopf. ISBN 9780375843754 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]
The inter-generational points of view provide a powerful frame for the topic of love for young readers—and readers of all ages. There is clearly a youthful point of view and voice, but the poems reference love of parents, friends, family, pets—acknowledging the depth of feeling in many relationships and at many stages of life. (“Old Love” about an uncle’s mourning his wife’s passing is especially beautiful and poignant.) Plus, it’s chock full of many poetic forms (clerihew, tercet, list, dialogue, blank verse, tanka, letter poem, pantoum, sestina, villanelle, sonnet, cinquain, anaphora, haiku, acrostic, triolet, blues, couplet, lyric, ode, and song, with brief notes on each form) which teachers will enjoy.
Besides the variety of forms and voices, many poems also incorporate Spanish words, always in a clear and musical context that adds another layer of sweetness. “Ode to Teachers” is particularly special to me and appears twice, once in English, once in Spanish.
Kids will enjoy performing many of these poems since the voices and points of view are so strong and varied. “Doubts,” for example, is constructed with a series of questions; try it with a different person reading/reciting each question. You’ll also find great “occasional” poetry-- perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day; the final poem, “My Song” would be appropriate for graduation.
Other books of love poetry for children and teens:
Fletcher, Ralph. ROOM ENOUGH FOR LOVE. ISBN 9780613057998
Adoff, Arnold. LOVE LETTERS. ISBN 9780590484787
Grimes, Nikki. HOPSCOTCH LOVE: A FAMILY TREASURY OF LOVE POEMS. ISBN 9780439158121
By Sylvia M. Vardell