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Poetry—Windows and Mirrors

The Sketchbook Approach to Writing and Reading Poetry

by Priscilla B. Adams

Tags: Education

192 pp $14.95

ISBN 978-0-89089-571-9

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This book introduces poetry as a genre and acquaints the reader with the terminology of the art in clear, accessible language. The sketchbook approach is beneficial because it first introduces terms and concepts necessary for interpretation and understanding, illustrates the term or concept with relevant and engaging poems, and then encourages a written response in a sketchbook journal. The readers' poems can be modeled on a selection from the chapter or from the Poembank. The Poembank is an anthology of over sixty poems by a culturally diverse group of poets; from Alice Walker to Carl Sandburg, from Naoshi Koriyama to Langston Hughes.

A unique format for a poetry workbook, the sketchbook is the cornerstone of the image of poetry as a "house of possibility" (Emily Dickinson's term) in which there are many windows and mirrors. A poem may allow us to see exactly what the poet saw, felt, or experienced, as if through a window, or it may be a direct reflection of something we have seen, felt, or experienced, as if looking into a mirror.

Windows and Mirrors brings readers to an organic understanding of how a poem works not by first requiring that they analyze the poem, but by allowing them to respond to the poem with their own poems and then applying this new-found insight. Too often texts at the intermediate level over-emphasize analysis or are simply anthologies of standard well-known poems. Author Priscilla Adams brings together the elements of information, response, and interpretation in a format that middle-grade level students find appealing and challenging.

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.