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Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else (A Poetry Speaks Experience) Hardcover – March 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 16 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: A Poetry Speaks Experience
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; 1 Har/Com edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402210744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402210747
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6–10—This extraordinary collection is alive with pathos, sensitivity, humor, beauty, controversy, and insight. The more than 100 poems are by prize-winning authors and relative newcomers. Familiar classics and contemporary selections sing out with profound ideas and simple truths. To define "who I am," there are selections about racial and ethnic identity; about ordinary and lofty ideas; about love, friendship, and family connections. They exhibit compassion, confusion, and anger. The poems are at once personal and universal, each told in a voice that speaks candidly to the target audience. The accompanying CD includes readings by many of the poets, and some of them describe the inspiration for their work, creating an intriguing perspective and connection to the piece. Blank pages at the end of the book invite readers to compose selections of their own. The variety of poems could easily hook youngsters on the genre as a comforting, accessible art form. This special book will enrich poetry sections.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

From baseball to first kisses to family, friends, community, love, and anger, the subjects in the 108 poems that make up this lively anthology will appeal to young people. The editors mix classic and contemporary selections, from Langston Hughes' “I Loved My Friend” and Robert Frost's “The Road Not Taken” to Sherman Alexie's “Indian Education” and Julia Alvarez's “How I Learned to Sweep,” and the spacious, inviting design will encourage teens to dip in, browse, and then linger. Another draw is the accompanying audio CD, on which many poets read their own work. Kids will recognize the familiar scenes in many poems, such as the torture of bra shopping for the first time and the fun of browsing in a used book store. Just as compelling are the selections by Shakespeare, Rilke, Dickinson, Whitman, and other classic poets. This makes a strong companion to poetry collections for youth compiled by Ruth Gordon, Paul Janeczko, and Naomi Shihab Nye. Grades 6-9. --Hazel Rochman

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Poetry Speaks comes with a CD that includes poets reading their own works.
Brainlair
I've always felt, that when a person randomly opens a poetry book, it will land on a poem, they were meant to read at that moment.
DAC
There is a nice area in the back of the book where readers and (inspiring) poets can jot down their own thoughts or poems.
Kate B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In spite of having a poet for a mother (or perhaps because of it) I have never come to terms with poetry. Which is not to say that I didn't try. As a kid I would pluck up a collection of the stuff and try to read through it. I was handed poems in elementary, middle, and high school with regularity, but I didn't quite understand why snowy woods were any more important in stanzas than in paragraphs. Poetry seemed like something I should like, but I never found the right way to get a taste ...more In spite of having a poet for a mother (or perhaps because of it) I have never come to terms with poetry. Which is not to say that I didn't try. As a kid I would pluck up a collection of the stuff and try to read through it. I was handed poems in elementary, middle, and high school with regularity, but I didn't quite understand why snowy woods were any more important in stanzas than in paragraphs. Poetry seemed like something I should like, but I never found the right way to get a taste for it. Kids today may have it easier. There are verse novels and books like Love That Dog and Locomotion to help them get a better grip on poetry. There are collections like A Kick in the Head or A Poke in the I to teach them various forms. But why should they care? What does poetry really say firsthand to them? Poetry Speaks Who I Am aims to make them care.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Holly An' Oyster on January 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for my 10 yr old stepdaughter, who struggles with focus in school and has been in counseling for years due to issues with her mother. I heard about it on NPR last year, and felt it would be very good for her to hear poems by/about other children her age and the issues that bother them. She has read the entire thing, some of it several times, and listened to the cd. I can't say with certainty, but she seems to have bonded with some of the poems that speak directly to her about things that she deals with. I think this is an excellent book for a tween/young teen who struggles with identity - my greatest wish for her is that she learn who she is independent of all the pressures from peers and family and this book I hope will help her achieve that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brainlair on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Poetry Speaks comes with a CD that includes poets reading their own works. The table of contents lets you know which poems are on the CD, since only about half of them are included. The ARC also included a little 1/2 sheet with the selections listed on it. That was really helpful since I didn't have to turn back to the beginning to check on a poem, I could just consult the sheet I was using as bookmark. The poems looked like I might have typed them out on recycled paper and then added a design. Spare but creative and encouraging. Not a normal standoffish type of poetry book at all. There are even lines in the back to write your own poems.

I am not a huge poetry fan but this book spoke to me. I loved the mix of contemporary and classic poets, the mix of ethnicities, the well-known with the not-so well known. We had works from Langston Hughes, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sherman Alexie and Billy Collins. Some of my favorites were SEDNA by kimiko hahn, WHAT YOUR MOTHER TELLS YOU NOW by mitsuye yamada, and

MEDIATION
kim stafford

At the dinner table, before the thrown
plate, but after the bitter claim,
in the one beat of silence
before the parents declare war

their child, who had been temporarily
invisible, but who had from school
a catechism, speaks: "Would you like me
to help solve the conflict?" Silence.

They can't look at each other. A glance
would sear the soul. A wall of fire seethes,
Maginot line through the butter plate,
split salt from pepper, him from her. Silence.

So the child speaks: "Three rules, then:
One--you have to let each other finish.
Two--you have to tell the truth. Three--
you have to want to solve the conflict.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In school I remember learning about a few dead White male poets. The only one I had any interest in was Edgar Allan Poe. My love of poetry comes in spite of school. Once I discovered what poetry was and its power, I've always loved it. I always got my poetry fix outside of the classroom.

In order to make a person a fan of poetry at any age, they must begin with poems that speak to them. There are 100 poems in Poetry Speaks Who I Am by a very diverse group of poets. Including Edgar Allan Poe, Nikki Grimes, Sherman Alexie, Billy Collins, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marilyn Nelson, Langston Hughes and Emily Dickinson. Take a peak at table of contents, to see all poets in this collection.

A great thing about poetry, liking or getting every poem is not a requirement. This wonderfully diverse collection of poetry gives every young reader the chance to find one poem to connect with. I've always felt, that when a person randomly opens a poetry book, it will land on a poem, they were meant to read at that moment. The odds of that happening with Poetry Speaks Who I AM is very high thanks to the many voices inside. There's even a Vampire poem

Vampire's Serenade by Dana Gioia (first and last verse)

I am the image that darkens your glass
The shadow that falls wherever you pass
I am the dream you cannot forget,
The face you remember without having met.

You've heard me inside you speak in your dreams
Sigh in the ocean, whisper in streams
I am the figure you crave and you fear.
You know what I bring. Now I am here.

It only takes one poem, one verse or sometimes an unforgettable line to have a new poetry fan for life. All of that can be found in Poetry Speaks Who I AM. This collection also comes with a CD with some of the poets reading their own work. I loved and highly recommend Poetry Speaks Who I Am, as well as the other two poetry collections published by Sourcebooks.
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