Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poetry and a contest

"National Poetry Month" is a clunky phrase. It takes up the whole middle line of a haiku, and it doesn't rhyme with much unless you say you're lisping just onthe. (I've used that trick at least twithe.)

Poetry can seem clunky, too, when you're trying to fit it into a sales pitch. When the child in question would rather engage with the nearest (non-e-reader) screen, is it really a good time to suggest a genre that smacks of tweed-scented English departments? When the parent expresses pride in the amount of dense text the child can read, is it time to suggest books with barely a few dozen words per page?


For a reluctant reader, poetry might be just the right kind of visually inviting read. It's perfect for "dipping in," and it can be about any subject in the universe, from relationships to adventure to toilet humor to, well, the universe (thank you, Douglas Florian). Sometimes it even has a beat. And there's plenty to analyze, plenty to imagine, plenty to interpret in one's own creative way  - all things that are worthwhile if you're a "big reader."

It's easy to forget about poetry in the midst of leading customers around more mainstream sections; much as I love poetry, I've been guilty of that. Thanks for reminding me, April.


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