Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poetry, the newspaper, and J. Pat Lewis

The first American newspaper, the Boston News-Letter, was published by John Campbell, a postmaster, on this day in 1704. I wrote about this last year (April 24, 2007) along with describing one of my favorite poem-creating activities: “found” poems. So, it’s time to make another poem-newspaper connection. Here’s a fun poem from a new collection by J. Patrick Lewis, The World’s Greatest: Poems, illustrated by Keith Graves (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008).

The Smallest American Newspaper
Roseberg, Oregon

3 x 3 ¾ inches


by J. Patrick Lewis


Business section -- Funnies News

Crossword puzzle -- Book reviews

Here’s who died -- Latest sports

Want ads -- Weekly farm reports

Weather (cloudy) -- Women’s wear

The BANNER world’s a 3-inch square!

From: J. Patrick Lewis, The World’s Greatest: Poems, illustrated by Keith Graves. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008, p. 13.

*Kids may want to create their own miniature newspapers, books, or poems. Or, they can explore other Guinness records and create poems to highlight the details.

These 25 poems are inspired by various facts and factoids from the Guinness Book of World Records and focus on the odd and unusual detail that kids find so fascinating. These are not poems about the fastest runner or the strongest lifter. No, here we encounter the stone skipping record and the most live scorpions eaten by a human. Crazy, but true! And Lewis turns each statistic into a humorous poem in a variety of poetic forms. Keith Graves’ illustrations are the perfect match, giving each poem an even zanier twist. And if you like this collection, look for Lewis’s A Burst of Firsts; Doers, Shakers, and Record Breakers (New York: Dial, 2001), another fun poetic tribute to the weird and wonderful.

Picture credit:


Anonymous said...

Read the poem about the most live scorpions eaten to any poetry- hater, and he will be transformed into a poetry-lover...GUARANTEED! I love this collection, Pat!

Raja Qasim said...

New friend making make
Heart lake laking lake
Sarrow come to come
You facing face
Happiness come to come
You facing face
& Old friends is do not HOLD
OLD friends is GOLD friends
& all time do not FOLD

Raja Qasim.London.{}