This week is also National Library Week (April 13-19)! First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association. And of course, I have to share a library poem (perhaps my favorite topic of all). This time, I’m lucky enough to have a new, original poem to share from the always generous and prolific, J. Pat Lewis. Enjoy!
by J. Patrick Lewis
After school one day I was talking to Mr.
Butterwinkle, the school librarian.
Define ABECEDARIAN?" I asked.
"Easy," he said. "But
First I think you should
Go to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, and...
Hmm, here's one," he said. "Now,
Isabelle, when you're looking for sparkling word
Jewels, try to
Keep them spit-shined, ready to go. A dictionary's
Like a trap, an irresistible
Nobody can discover
One beaut without two more
Xerox them. Hang them in your locker. Now
You're in the
Zone. Oh, I forgot. ABECEDARIAN. Look it up."
Used with permission from J. Patrick Lewis.
I love this ABC connection, don’t you? Paul Janeczko writes about this poetic form in Poetry from A to Z: A Guide for Young Writers (New York: Bradbury, 1994). I have posted about the link between the ABCs and poetry before on April 21, 2007, last year. Just as a refresher, here are some poetry collections that are organized alphabetically ala the dictionary.
Ada, Alma Flor. 1997. Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English. Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard.
Bryan, Ashley. 1997. Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry. Atheneum.
Harley, Avis. 2000. Fly with Poetry; An ABC of Poetry. Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
Harley, Avis. 2001. Leap into Poetry: More ABCs of Poetry. Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2003. Alphathoughts. Boyds Mills Press.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 1994. April Bubbles Chocolate. Simon & Schuster.
Janeczko. Paul, comp. 1994. Poetry from A to Z: A Guide for Young Writers. Bradbury.
Merriam, Eve. 1995. Halloween ABC. Aladdin.
Schnur, Steven. 1997. Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic. Clarion. (See also: Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic; Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic; and Summer: An Alphabet Acrostic all by Steven Schnur)
Sierra, Judy. 2004. There's a Zoo in Room 22. Voyager.
Wilbur, Richard. 2001. The Disappearing Alphabet. Voyager.
Do you know of any other alpha-poems or alpha-poem collections? Visit your library during library week and let me know if you find any!
Picture credit: talking-dog.com