Thursday, April 01, 2010

Poetry Tag: J. Patrick Lewis is IT

April is National Poetry Month and it’s time to celebrate. Ready for a game? Let’s play Poetry Tag!

Every day this month my blog will feature a different poem by a different poet. Here’s the catch. One poet offers a poem and "tags" a fellow poet. Each poet then shares a poem that is connected to the previous poem in some way--by theme, word, idea, or tone--and provides a sentence or two explaining that connection. These may be new original unpublished poems or poems drawn from previous works.

By the end of the month, we’ll have a “chain” of poems and see firsthand how poetry can be selected, connected, shared and celebrated. Ready, set, let’s go.

First, I tagged J. Patrick Lewis who was kind enough to get the ball rolling. Here is his inspired contribution, a perfect beginning, with a poem within a poem:

Five fun facts about J. Patrick Lewis
*he’s a twin
*he has been a professor of economics
*he has lived in Russia
*his first book for children was A Hippopotamusn’t published in 1990
*he invented the zeno poem form

[Taken from Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for his newest books:
*Kindergarten Cat (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, 2010)
*The Fantastic 5&10 Cent Store (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, 2010)
*First Dog's White House Christmas (Sleeping Bear Bress, 2010)
*Skywriting: Poems in Flight (Creative Editions, 2009)
*Spot the Plot! A Riddle Book of Book Riddles (Chronicle, 2009)
*The House (Creative Editions, 2009)
*The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2009)
*Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year (Little, Brown, 2009)

Voila! Isn’t this a fun way to celebrate poetry, poets, and our poetic connections? What other poems does this poem make YOU think of? Tag. You’re it!

Next up: X. J. Kennedy

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.

Image credit:;


Paula said...

I checked A Hippopotamusn’t, it is cute! Which book of J. Patrick Lewis would you recommend for the age-group 8-12? Many thanks.

Bobbi Katz said...

Sylvia,"Poetry Tag":what a great new game! I so appreciate your wonderful blog. It's a great way to catch up on the world of words.
I imagine that you are having a great time in Bologna.I am judging an all- inclusive community poetry contest. The poems by high school students especially make me realize that poems can be life lines when life overwhelms.Thank you for being such an advocate. Bobbi

Anonymous said...

I love this poem because it points out that so many poems are those sort of slap your forehead moments where you wonder how it is that someone else saw what was right in front of you but you never noticed.

I think your Poetry Tag is a wonderful idea and am looking forward to all the fun posts.

Laurina said...

Poetry Tag is a wonderful idea and I look forward to following the poems and connections, and to reading the first and the last poems to see what connections there might be.

Mary Lee said...

LOVE the idea of words hidden in words -- some that belong and some that don't. Where will XJ Kennedy go with this, I wonder!!!

Joanne said...

Hi! Looking for a poem for an 11 year old to do for a speech and drama exam - must be written by an irish poet. She would like something funny?????? Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted!!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you all for stopping by on this launch of Poetry Tag for Poetry Month. I hope you'll return to see how each poem connects with the next.

For an Irish poem, check out my post on Friday, March 16, 2007-- there are 2 straight out of an Irish anthology for children.

And SO MANY of J. Patrick Lewis's books are great for ages 8-12. Start with his new collection, COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER with a poem for each day of the school year and plenty of humor, wordplay, and cartoon art.