The following books are those that I think would be most helpful to
in the practice of teaching or learning about the craft of poetry:
My Sister Looks Like a
. New York: Hart Publishing Company, 1974. The author has extensive experience as an itinerant teacher of poetry in the public schools and has a lot of practical suggestions for it.
Cheyney, Arnold B.
The Writing Corner.
Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear Publishing Company, 1979. An extremely helpful book that deals extensively with poetic forms and methods of motivation. Also explains poetic devices and approaches to teaching them, lists of rhyming words, and methods of bookbinding.
If You’re Trying to Teach Kids to
Write. You’ve Gotta Have This Book!
Nashville, Tennessee: Incentive Publications, 1979. Lively, very useful compendium of ideas and lesson plans—they’re even timed and tagged as to age level—on teaching poetry (as well as other forms of writing).
Rose. Where Did You
New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1974. A real poet, using the works of real poets as models, evokes astounding poetic response in the classroom. Mr. Koch provides an education in poetry for teachers as he teaches how to teach it.
Sleeping on the Wing
. New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1981. This book was written for high school students and beyond. It is an anthology with explications, but wonderful suggestions for writing as well. Teachers can learn a lot about forms and terms from it.
New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1970. Mr. Koch’s first book, about teaching poetry in a New York City public school, again provides a wide range of poetry he used with the children and explanations of his approach and their responses.
Lipson, Greta Barclay, and Romatowski, Jane A.
Peoria, IL, Good Apple, Inc., 1981. This book, battered from use in my classroom, is “A handbook of 47 poetic forms and figures of speech.” It is filled with lesson plans and ideas for activities.
Elements of Poetry
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. For any teacher who feels insecure about terms, forms, and approaches to meaning, this is a delightful and practical as well as insightful book. It teaches teachers to teach.
There are many anthologies, but the following are useful collections which give a wide variety of poets and their works which to draw on for reading aloud or for use as models when the class is writing. This group is for the
Corbett, Brother Thomas, and Boldt, Rev. William J.
Modern American Poetry.
New York: Macmillan, 1965. This is a study guide with some unusual and tasteful choices in American poetry.
I. New York: Macmillan, 1962. This is another high school study guide that has poems especially good for reading aloud. Besides touching on the background of the selections, it deals with purpose, images, shape, sound and language of poetry.
Greenfield, Stanley B., and Weatherhead, A. Kingsley.
The Poem: An Anthology.
New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1968. A good basic collection.
Sanders, Gerald Dewitt; Nelson, John Herbert; Rosenthal, M.L.
Chief Modern Poets of England and America,
4th Ed. New York: Macmillan, 1969. This is a useful two volume collection of British and American poets.
Aldington, Richard, editor.
The Viking Book of Poetry of the English Speaking World
. New York: Viking Press, 1944. A very thorough collection with helpful indexes. There are later editions but all are good.
The Pocket Book of Robert Frost’s Poems
. New York: Pocket Books, 1946. This collection has most of the Frost poems usable with younger school children.
Immortal Poems of the
New York: Washington Square Press, 1964. A useful paperback collection.
Williams, Oscar, and Honig, Edwin.
The Mentor Book
Major American Poets.
Also useful paperback specializing in three centuries of American poets.
This is a group of collections of poems especially of interest to
These need to be available to students since part of this unit calls for class members choosing and reading aloud favorite poems, and children’s collections, though they may contain some poems of dubious value, are attractively presented, selected for readability by students in grammar school, and are readily available through book clubs prevalent in our classrooms.
. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1964. Jabberwocky and several of Louis Carroll’s funniest poems, nicely illustrated.
Arrow Book of Funny Poems.
New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1961. Some excellent poets have written for children, and quite a few can be found here.
New York: Harper & Row, 1981. Tasteful choices from good writers, well displayed with charming pictures.
Dunning, Stephen; Lueders, Edward, and Smith, Hugh.
Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle . . . and Other Modern Verse
. Another tasteful collection with some of the best poets.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett and Arenstein, Misha.
Faces and Places: Poems for You.
New York: Scholastic Book Services. Also a good collection, illustrated.
Arrow Book of Poetry.
New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1965. A good collection with a somewhat wider choice of form. Good on Haiku.
Jamboree, Rhymes for All Times
. Eve Merriam is very popular with 4th and 5th graders; she’s funny and deals with the real stuff of kid’s lives, especially in school. Poems tend to fit in with various subjects that arise in the classroom.
Merrill, Jean, and Solbert, Ronni, editors.
A Few Flies and I Haiku by Issa
. (Translated by R.H. Blyth) A delicate book of Haiku translated from the Japanese with an excellent exposition of the nature of the Haiku. Tiny, dainty illustrations.
Smith, William Jay.
Good, funny read-aloud poems that children enjoy and could make good starters for their own.
Stevenson, Robert L.
A Child’s Garden of Verses.
New York: Avenel Books, undated. This book, a little dated and apt to be purchased by maiden aunts out of touch with juvenilia, still has some poems kids just like to hear, and for those it’s useful.