Thoughts on YA Poetry: A Creative Exercise

Each week in my Young Adult Materials class we’re assigned a list of readings. Some of them will be books (this week was two fantasy titles: Sabriel by Garth Nix and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman) while the others are articles or videos on a topic related to YA materials (this week was poetry). As you may have noticed in the past two months, I typically chose to respond to one of the novels. I’ve been writing book reviews for years, when I’m stuck on what to say it’s easiest for me to default to the review format. However, after reading Jimmy Santaigo Baca’s “Making the Rounds” and watching Billy Collin’s TED Talk Everyday Moments, Caught in Time I decided to try something new this week. These two pieces got me thinking about my relationship with poetry.

Do You Like Poetry?
No. Can’t say that I do.
The trouble with poetry
is that they always make you dissect it
pick out the metaphors, allusions, similes
until it’s no longer a living thing
broken into puzzle pieces
when it should be a song

The trouble with poetry
is that they insist on teaching it to you

Of course I do
I was a kid once, weren’t you?
Singing a song
following a rhythm
that’s what poetry’s like
when it’s a breathing thing

The great thing about poetry
is how much fun it is to play

Another nice thing about poetry: it can be very concise.


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