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Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out [Paperback]

Ralph Fletcher
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $5.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

February 19, 2002 8 - 12 years5 - 7

Maybe you've heard before that poetry is magic, and it made you roll your eyes, but I believe it's true. Poetry matters. At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak.

I wrote this book to help you write poems and to give practical ideas for making your poems sound the way you want them to sound. We're not going to smash poems up into the tiniest pieces. This book is about writing poetry, not analyzing it. I want this book to help you have more wonderful. moments in the poetry you write. I want you to feel the power of poetry. it's my hope that through this book you will discover lots of ways to make your poems shine, sing, soar...

-- Ralph Fletcher


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Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out + A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You + Live Writing: Breathing Life into Your Words
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Throw out the formidable rhythm and rhyme schemes: Ralph Fletcher's Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out laughs in the face of formality. Organized into two sections "Lighting the Spark" and "Nurturing the Flame" and peppered with interviews with published poets, Fletcher's accessible volume teaches kids to write poetry from the heart.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-A concise, nuts-and-bolts guide to creating poetry. The book begins by defining poems as "emotional X-rays" that seek to delve into a person's inner being. Chapters deal with images; creating "music," or sounds and rhythms; how to generate ideas for poems; the construction of the words on the page; and more. Tips on fine-tuning are also given, from experimenting with wordplay to finding a voice and narrowing the focus of a piece. Major poetic forms are defined, including haiku, ode, and free verse, and there is a section on ways to share your work. Interspersed are Fletcher's personal insights and interviews with three poets-Kristine O'Connell George, Janet S. Wong, and J. Patrick Lewis-who discuss what inspires them and how they go about creating their work. The many examples of poetry throughout embody the author's advice by showing how writing techniques actually function in poems. Since this thought-provoking book covers more of the internal, less-tangible aspects of poetry, it may be more suited for readers who have some experience with the genre.
Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition (Unsta edition (February 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380797038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380797035
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for older kids and adults October 10, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the details in this book about from where poetry stems. I loved the idea of just watching the wolrd around you and seeing if a poem somes to you. It does! My only concern is the book uses language that would be too difficult for the average 5th-6th grader to understand. I like that poems from kids are included, but this book seems more appropriate for a teacher to reach and intergrate into his/her curriculum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring June 26, 2014
By LPP
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is inspirational and makes the most reluctant writer or non-writer
want to read and write poetry. My 10-year old son and I read the book together and
wrote poetry together. Neither of us likes to write, but it turned out to be so
much fun. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who
don't think they like to write or read poetry. They will be surprised!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As usual, Ralph Fletcher makes you itch to put pencil to paper and write, write, write.
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hi, I really enjoyed reading Ralph Fletcher's book "Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the inside out." He gives lots of good examples. He has interviews with two other poets in the book for ideas on poetry. He makes poetry interesting and fun to learn! I also enjoyed his poetry!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intentions October 9, 2011
By Ohioan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I like about this book is that it's aimed at middle-school students who want to write poetry, and it encourages them through examples and advice. The poems, both the good ones and the bad ones, are instructive of the subject being discussed. They're short, they're current.

What I don't like about this book is its rapidity: everything that's said seems to be said very quickly, then we're off to another subject. Also, I think the chapters are in no logical order, nor does the book progress logically from one aspect of poetry to another. This book could have been stronger.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read on writing poetry September 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have ever read on writing poetry. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has taken up writing poetry and wants to improve their writing. Clearly-written with many wonderful stories by poets who share their experience and their angst. I belong to a Poetry Writing Workshop in Fearrington Village, NC and I have recommended this book to all of the workshop participants. Jan Doolin
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 5, 2014
By Hi-D
Format:Library Binding|Verified Purchase
I WILL DEFINITELY BE READING THIS TO MY 6TH GRADERS BEFORE STARTING OUR POETRY UNIT!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars February 18, 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not what I was expecting, but I am sure it will come in handy when teaching poetry.
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More About the Author

Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers includng Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers around the U.S. and abroad, helping them find wiser ways of teaching writing.

Ralph's many books for students include picture books (Twilight Comes Twice, Hello Harvest Moon, and The Sandman), novels (Fig Pudding, Flying Solo, and Spider Boy), poetry (A Writing Kind of Day and Moving Day), and a memoir, Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. His novel Uncle Daddy was awarded the Christopher medal in 2002. He has also written a popular series of books for young writers including Poetry Matters, Live Writing, and A Writer's Notebook. Ralph lives with his family in New Hampshire. He is a strong environmentalist who believes we all must work together to live in a more sustainable way. His other passions include travel, good food, dark chocolate, growing orchids, and sports.


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