Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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When you first cast your eyes on this work you will automatically think - Ah, another anthology of children's nursery rhymes/poems. I did that and it was a big mistake! This is NOT a collection of poetry meant exclusively for the wee ones; no, no, no! Mary Ann Hoberman (Former Children's Poet Laureate) has put together a collection of poems which are specifically chosen to be learned by heart - as the title of the book would indicate. Between the covers of this wonderful volume we find around 130 extremely diverse works of poetry that will please almost everyone no matter their age.

Just a quick glance through this one will reveal works by Ogden Nash, Ezra Pond, Carl Sandburg, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Ann Hoberman, Robert Frost, A.A. Milne, Gertrude Stein, James Thurber, William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson and many, many, many others. Folks, we are talking some very heavy hitters from the world of the written word and poetry here! Some of the poets you will have never heard of but that dose not make the poems any less desirable or are inferior in anyway to those of the authors mentioned above. To be honest, I did not find one poem in this entire work that did not delight me. Many of the works here were old favorites dating back to my childhood while other where clean and fresh and simply wonderful.

The one binding factor found here is that all of these poems are simply meant to be memorized. They are the sort that once read a few times will go around and around in your head...much as a favored song or tune. The author has arranged these selected works from the short and simple to the longer and more complex. The selection of style and methodology is extremely diverse. There is literally something in this work for everyone!

"How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!"

Lewis Carroll

And then we go to a full page of one of my favorites - Kipling with his "The Camel's Hump."

Auk Talk

"The raucous auk must squawk to talk.
The squawk auks squawk to talk goes
AUK!"

Mary Ann Hoberman

(I think Mary Ann was reading too my Gertrude Stein when she turned that one out!) Just teasing.

When I went to school, as with most of my generation and those that preceded us, we did a tremendous amount of "memory" work; work we were required to periodically recite in front of the class. While I admit that as a child I was not overly fond of that process, I must admit to you today that this was some of the best training I had in school and most certainly had a very large impact on my life. They do not do much of that in schools these days which I personally feel is a pity as I feel our children are loosing a lot. With the wretched "No Child Left Behind" act, there are now gapping holes in our educational process which teachers and parents MUST fill in if they want their children to receive a truly well rounded education. It is books such as this that will give those concerned parents and teachers invaluable teaching tools to fill those gaps in.

The author has added a section to the book filled with good tips in teaching the memorization process. This is extremely valuable information and I found every word she wrote to be true.

This volume has been skillfully illustrated by Michael Emberly, a very, very skilled and imaginative illustrator and artist. The illustrations he has created here go perfectly with each and every poem.

Jenny Kissed Me

"Jenny Kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny Kissed me."

James Henry Leigh Hunt

Wow - I love that poem and can I relate!

Put this one at the top of your book shopping list. I can promise you that you will be absolutely delighted!

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
66 comments| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I have had a love of poetry most of my adult life. I am most familiar with Asian poetry, even though I love all kinds of poetry, with the exception of free-verse. Even though this 8 1/2 by 11 hardcover book is aimed at grade school level students; nevertheless, anyone interested in learning poems by heart will find this volume an excellent value. In fact, this is the type of book teachers of young children will also love to use in their classes. It presents the topic in a fun and interesting way, which is important when teaching children.

This text has short and long poems from a wide range of famous poets, as well as from poets not familiar to most people. Some of the selections include: Robert Louis Stevenson's "Rain" Emily Dickinson's "A word is Dead" Carl Sandburg's "Primer Lesson" and Gwendolyn Brooks "Marie Lucille."

My only criticism of this book is how it is organized. It should have placed the "Some suggestions for learning poetry by heart" section in the first chapter rather than all the way at the end of the book. However, this does not take away from the benefits of reading this book of poetry.

In conclusion, this book will be of interest to students and teachers of poetry.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 26, 2012
Children need to learn to memorize ... and what better way than with poetry ... the earlier they start to hear these same poems over and over, the easier it will be for them to remember. Great for bedtimes.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 13, 2013
There are a few poems in here that are easily memorized and lovely to listen to, e.g. Jenny Kissed Me and Fog; but most are just not good. My favorite is The Golden Book of Poetry edited by Jane Werner, but it's only available as collector's editions.
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on March 3, 2013
I bought this book for my granddaughter's 5th birthday. I love it so much that I want one for my grandsons and even one for myself. The poems are delightful and the illustrations are great.
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on December 11, 2012
My five year old granddaughter is a smart child, but found this a bit above her level, so my daughter-in-law will wait a couple of more years and try it again.
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on December 25, 2012
The kids loved it. The five year old opened it and sat and read it for the rest of the evening!
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on April 1, 2013
I was expecting fun short poems that I could memorize with my granddaughter. Most are too long and many are too "dark" for a child.
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on May 10, 2013
This is a lovely book. The selection of poem is thoughtful--and thought-provoking in some cases. The illustrations are marvelous. Very special.
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on July 1, 2013
There is a great variety of selections in this book. It is new to us so we have much more to read. It will get a lot of use over the summer.
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