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Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out

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A practical guide to demystify the process of writing poetry, by the bestselling author of A Writer’s Notebook and the ALA Notable Book Fig Pudding. Poetry matters. At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak. This book is full of practical wisdom to help young writers craft beautiful poetry that shines, sings, and soars. It features wr A practical guide to demystify the process of writing poetry, by the bestselling author of A Writer’s Notebook and the ALA Notable Book Fig Pudding. Poetry matters. At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak. This book is full of practical wisdom to help young writers craft beautiful poetry that shines, sings, and soars. It features writing tips and tricks, interviews with published poets for children, and plenty of examples of poetry by published writers—and even young people themselves. Perfect for classrooms, this lighthearted, appealing manual is a celebration of poetry that is a joy to read. Young poets and aspiring poets of all ages will enjoy these tips on how to simplify the process of writing poetry and find their own unique voice.


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A practical guide to demystify the process of writing poetry, by the bestselling author of A Writer’s Notebook and the ALA Notable Book Fig Pudding. Poetry matters. At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak. This book is full of practical wisdom to help young writers craft beautiful poetry that shines, sings, and soars. It features wr A practical guide to demystify the process of writing poetry, by the bestselling author of A Writer’s Notebook and the ALA Notable Book Fig Pudding. Poetry matters. At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak. This book is full of practical wisdom to help young writers craft beautiful poetry that shines, sings, and soars. It features writing tips and tricks, interviews with published poets for children, and plenty of examples of poetry by published writers—and even young people themselves. Perfect for classrooms, this lighthearted, appealing manual is a celebration of poetry that is a joy to read. Young poets and aspiring poets of all ages will enjoy these tips on how to simplify the process of writing poetry and find their own unique voice.

30 review for Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I enjoyed this little book written to an audience of young (school age) writers. My favorite quote was a poem (imagine that!): Please bury me in the library In the clean, well-lighted stacks Of Novels, History, Poetry Right next to the Paperbacks, Where the Kids’ Books dance With True Romance And the Dictionary dozes. Please bury me in the library With a dozen long-stemmed proses Way back by a rack of Magazines. I won’t be sad too often If they bury me in the library With Bookworms in my coffin. J. Patric I enjoyed this little book written to an audience of young (school age) writers. My favorite quote was a poem (imagine that!): Please bury me in the library In the clean, well-lighted stacks Of Novels, History, Poetry Right next to the Paperbacks, Where the Kids’ Books dance With True Romance And the Dictionary dozes. Please bury me in the library With a dozen long-stemmed proses Way back by a rack of Magazines. I won’t be sad too often If they bury me in the library With Bookworms in my coffin. J. Patrick Lewis

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marianna Monaco

    for young writers and for me too a sample: Dawn picks bits of dark from between the blades of grass . . .

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Reading Countess

    I had to request this book from another library (none other than the Barbara Bush library!) but Fletcher didn't disappoint. Written in kid-friendly language, full of wonderful poetry examples, and complete with interviews of current poets, Poetry Matters is a great book for both students and teachers alike. The common thread the poets said? Read! "Never write more than you read." Yes! *()=my thoughts "At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak." 3 pillars of I had to request this book from another library (none other than the Barbara Bush library!) but Fletcher didn't disappoint. Written in kid-friendly language, full of wonderful poetry examples, and complete with interviews of current poets, Poetry Matters is a great book for both students and teachers alike. The common thread the poets said? Read! "Never write more than you read." Yes! *()=my thoughts "At the most important moments, when everyone else is silent, poetry rises to speak." 3 pillars of poetry: emotion, imagery and music 1. emotion: poem is an x-ray=probe the bones of your inner being convey feelings through emotions, don't say too much 2. imagery: 5 senses (I like to read The Black Book of Colors) imagery, symbolism 3. music: play with the sounds of words have fun with alliteration rhythm repetition What to write about? concerns of the heart (hence heart map) what you wonder about (wonder section of NB?) concerns about the world (Gallagher's Article of the wk?) Crafting think fragments (they aren't a bad thing in poetry!) consider shape experiment w/line breaks (stanza=rm in Italian) use white spaces (like sherbet in between courses)=pauses end with a bang Wordplay Various forms (haiku, free verse...) Going Public collection BYOP (bring your own poem)=not so student friendly! rd it aloud choral rding send it to someone special (pic of loved one, Fotobabble a poem!)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Might be a nice how-to-write poetry book for young people who don't read much poetry...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Meribeth

    The three pillars of poetry, Fletcher begins, are emotion, image and music. He goes on to tell why poetry matters, what is important in the creation of a poem, where to make refinements, and a bit about some forms of poetry, all the while interspersing his comments with children’s poems, and occasionally his own or other published poets’ work. His interviews with real poets, Kristine O’Connell George, Janet S. Wong, and J. Patrick Lewis, maintain the reader’s interest. One can “hear” each poet’s The three pillars of poetry, Fletcher begins, are emotion, image and music. He goes on to tell why poetry matters, what is important in the creation of a poem, where to make refinements, and a bit about some forms of poetry, all the while interspersing his comments with children’s poems, and occasionally his own or other published poets’ work. His interviews with real poets, Kristine O’Connell George, Janet S. Wong, and J. Patrick Lewis, maintain the reader’s interest. One can “hear” each poet’s comments in his or her own voice, and can compare answers to the same questions. At the end is a recommended list of poetry books, for children, young adults, and those between. The final chapter, Going Public, suggests several ways to share poems. Especially interesting is the idea of a BYOP (Bring Your Own Poem) party and how to organize it, with instructions on how to spice up the party with a choral reading. This easy-to-follow, completely un-boring handbook makes one’s fingers itchy for a pencil to try out the possibilities.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I have been in a block or writing slump for two years since my brothers death and our move from my beloved farm into the city. But this book and its suggestions has brought me back around to writing. It seems to have dug in to that deep buried love for poetry and pulled out repressed emotions. I have written drafts for poems this weekend. It's as if Goddess handed me this volume as a prescription to heal myself and my writing. Thank you so very very much Ralph Fletcher your book was the right me I have been in a block or writing slump for two years since my brothers death and our move from my beloved farm into the city. But this book and its suggestions has brought me back around to writing. It seems to have dug in to that deep buried love for poetry and pulled out repressed emotions. I have written drafts for poems this weekend. It's as if Goddess handed me this volume as a prescription to heal myself and my writing. Thank you so very very much Ralph Fletcher your book was the right medicine.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    I picked this book up at a library book sale. I am so glad I did. In this accessible poetry craft book I found a number of new things to think about when I write poems. The author describes three pillars of poetry: emotion, image, and music, and to use these pillars in writing poems. The author approaches writing poems with great reverence and remind the reader that poems matter—poems change lives.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book offers practical suggestions and poetry examples for students on how to write poetry so that it says what you want it to say. I used the book to help some 4th and 5th-grade students write poetry. The book is also great for older students and adults.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    Very approachable book about poetry. Would be good to give to kids to play with words. Also lots of good advice from poets and a nice list of poetry books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Glen Mitchell

    I recently started writing poetry. This book was aimed at young readers, but I think it’s informative and inspiring for aspiring poets of any age.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Ah…poetry, a form of writing I’ve always been curious about. When I was a fifth grade teacher, we had consultants come in at least twice a year. During the first half was a poet whose passion for poetry was evident in the way she had taught my class. I faintly remember her reading examples of her own work and of others. This woman would circle the room and give encouragement and small tips to students. In the end, she would publish the children’s works by typing up their poems, sometimes arrangi Ah…poetry, a form of writing I’ve always been curious about. When I was a fifth grade teacher, we had consultants come in at least twice a year. During the first half was a poet whose passion for poetry was evident in the way she had taught my class. I faintly remember her reading examples of her own work and of others. This woman would circle the room and give encouragement and small tips to students. In the end, she would publish the children’s works by typing up their poems, sometimes arranging the words in a shape. Ralph Fletcher is an author I had to read one summer for professional development. The principal I had worked under was a big advocate of writing, having come from a nonprofit that supported writing workshops for teachers. We, upper grade teachers, had transformed into core teachers where I for example went from teaching just a whole class of 32 students to teaching reading, writing, and social studies to my assigned class in the morning and then the other class after lunch. One of the most memorable lessons I loved was teaching nonfiction writing where I had the students walk a mile in their president’s shoes. Poetry Matters was written more for kids, a level of reading I certainly understand, LOL. He certainly answered my internal question of does poetry always have to be written in some kind of specific form? I liked how the author gave many examples of student work, students he taught himself. With each piece Fletcher pointed out the poem’s strong points and what they do for a reader. He also included an occasional interview with a fellow poet, asking him/her about inspiration, etc.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Srb

    I actually found this book when ordering a bunch of poetry books on barnesandnoble.com, it came up as a book that might fit what I was looking for. I think it was a great addition to my collection for poetry to use with my 4th grade class. The author discusses some important things to think about when looking at poetry. He offers some suggestions for poems that have helped him as he wrote his own collection. The basis of the book is not to analyze poems by criteria. In fact, he quotes a student I actually found this book when ordering a bunch of poetry books on barnesandnoble.com, it came up as a book that might fit what I was looking for. I think it was a great addition to my collection for poetry to use with my 4th grade class. The author discusses some important things to think about when looking at poetry. He offers some suggestions for poems that have helped him as he wrote his own collection. The basis of the book is not to analyze poems by criteria. In fact, he quotes a student describing poetry as boring because that is what she did in her classroom. He looks at the poems as a whole and then offers some tips about things to make them better, and only briefly mentions the "proper terms". For example, in the image section, he quotes a student who wrote, "the sky holds the earth in its arms." He goes on further to talk about why that is great in terms of creating a picture in a readers mind about an everyday relationship. He then mentions that it is called personification, but says it is less important to know the fancy name than it is to use it in your writing. There are some great ideas in this book and I am planning to read sections to my class as they apply to the particular mini lesson I will teach that day in our poetry unit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elida

    Amazing. A must for the poetry classroom.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gabie Hannays

    After finishing reading the book so far i love how the author would included many short poems that he puts in once or twice at every chapter. I am enjoying the book because i get to expand my mine on how to write poetry, i have always loved poetry and this books lets me know what are the things you need to write in a poet. He makes poetry interesting and fun to learn. Fletcher internal traits are very fragile because he's a very poor man who makes almost 20 dollars a week and its almost Christm After finishing reading the book so far i love how the author would included many short poems that he puts in once or twice at every chapter. I am enjoying the book because i get to expand my mine on how to write poetry, i have always loved poetry and this books lets me know what are the things you need to write in a poet. He makes poetry interesting and fun to learn. Fletcher internal traits are very fragile because he's a very poor man who makes almost 20 dollars a week and its almost Christmas but one week he made 200 dollars and gave it to a poor man after all his had work, so he decided to make poetry for his family as Christmas presents. At the end i think all his family that he read poetry to for their Christmas gift would be very proud and happy for him and he would feel like he actually gave them a good present this year that they really liked.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott To

    Poetry Matters, by Ralph Fletcher, is a educating book. This book taught me about poems and how to write them. I had very little experience with poetry before I read this book. I think that I'm going to look forward to looking at this authors books. The expression, Writing a poem from the inside out is a very true meaning. I recommend this book to anyone who want's to learn more about poems and the different forms of poems. I've learned many forms of poems while reading this book. At the end of Poetry Matters, by Ralph Fletcher, is a educating book. This book taught me about poems and how to write them. I had very little experience with poetry before I read this book. I think that I'm going to look forward to looking at this authors books. The expression, Writing a poem from the inside out is a very true meaning. I recommend this book to anyone who want's to learn more about poems and the different forms of poems. I've learned many forms of poems while reading this book. At the end of this book, this author recommends poem books to the reader. I thought that was very helpful and grateful of the author for doing that. The illustrations on the front cover mostly covers everything in the book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tania Damian

    This book by Ralph Fletcher is a useful guide for students who struggle with writing poetry. Teachers could also use it to teach the whole class about poetry writing. It is recommended for grades 5th and up, but I think 3rd and 4th graders could also use it with the help of a teacher. The book gives tips on generating ideas for poems, rhythm in poetry, and different types of poems. Readers learn about writing haiku poems, odes, and free-verse poems.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jen Munnerlyn

    This book has been ordered for the 2009-10 school year on the advice of Katherine Casey who led the NESA Literacy Coaching group meeting in Jordan in November, 2008. As we develop a unit of study in poetry in the intermediate grades and enhance our work in the primary grades this book might be beneficial.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    This is a great book for would-be poets of any age! Fletcher has included many short poems from both published and unpublished poets as well as interviews with 3 poets. Part 1 is entitled "Lighting the Spark" and part 2 is "Nurturing the Flame". The spark will make you want to read and write poetry and the flame will inspire you to keep working at it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Excellent, practical, and inspiring. Mr. Fletcher may have written this with young, student poets in mind. But my grown-up self found a lot of value in this little book. I'll be sad when my daughter turns it back into her Reading teacher; so we'll have to buy our own copy!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Luis Alexandre Ribeiro Branco

    It is a special book for poetry writers and lovers. It is not a deep and complex book on the subject, actually I think that it touches only the surface of the subject, but is not without merit at all and deserve our reading and full attention.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Zoraida Rivera Morales

    Ralph Fletcher wants kids to enjoy poetry, to know that poetry is a way to express what what they feel, to laugh and play. For him poetry is emotion, music, color. He shares many techniques that I think kids will enjoy experimenting with. This is a great book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    This book is intended for young people (proabably in grades 4 through 8), but I think it could be helpful for adults too. I learned some new things and got some good tips on writing poetry.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As with his other books, Fletcher makes writing approachable and fun for kids. And adults will learn a thing or two as well. (I did!)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I'm reading this to my class in an attempt to understand 'how and why' poets write their poetry, so that we as readers of poetry are better equipped to analyze and interpret poems.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bridget R. Wilson

    The most interesting thing about this book was the cover. If you want a poetry writing book for kids, read Prelutsky's.

  26. 4 out of 5

    10-11 Kathryn

    It was interesting and I learned so much about poetry!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    An excellent book for young writers. I use it in tutoring and it works very well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    Great insight on poetry! I think it'll help!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Another book by Ralph Fletcher that's great to use in the classroom.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This is a good book if you are a beginning poetry writer or want to learn about the basics of poetry.

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