Poetry Speaks Who I Am

ISBN: 9781402210747

By: Elise Paschen, Series Editor: Dominique Raccah

Published: 02/28/2010

This is not poetry class…There is no memorization required…there will not be a test…

Available Formats




Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in—find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book.

Poetry can be life altering. It can be gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking. And it’s meant to be experienced, so we’ve included a CD on which you’ll hear 44 poems, 39 of which are original recordings—you’ll only find them here. You’ll hear poets both classic and contemporary, well-known and refreshingly new, including:
--Dana Gioia expresses the hunger of a “Vampire’s Serenade”
--Elizabeth Alexander waits for that second kiss in “Zodiac”
--Langston Hughes flings his arms wide in “Dream Variations”
--Marilyn Nelson reads to her class in “How I Discovered Poetry”
--Paul Muldoon’s poem “Sideman,” brought loudly to life by the band Rackett
--And 39 more poems that are immediate and vibrant

From Lucille Clifton’s “Here Yet Be Dragons” to Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee” to “Tia Chucha,” by Luis J. Rodriguez, Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you. If you’re lucky, it’ll serve as a gateway to a lifetime lived with poetry. At the very least, it'll be a good time. Dive in, and happy hunting.

About the Author

Elise Paschen is the editor of Poetry Speaks to Children and co-editor of Poetry Speaks, both New York Times bestsellers. She is the author of several acclaimed poetry collections of her own, including Bestiary and Infidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion, a nationwide program that places poetry in subways and buses, and co-editor of Poetry in Motion and Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast. Series Editor Dominique Raccah is founder, president, and publisher of Sourcebooks, a leading independent publisher outside of Chicago. Today Sourcebooks is the world’s leading publisher of poetry in book-and-audio form, and also publishes nonfiction and fiction. Raccah was the initial visionary of the books Poetry Speaks, Poetry Speaks to Children and Hip Hop Speaks to Children, seeing them as interactive, engaging ways to experience spoken and written poetry. Advisory Editor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. Most recently, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, also published as a book. She has published five books of poems, including The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, and American Sublime, which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year.” Advisory Editor Brad Leithauser is the author of five novels, a novel in verse, five volumes of poetry, a collection of light verse, and a book of essays. His poetry collections include Curves and Angles, The Odd Last Thing She Did, The Mail from Anywhere, Cats of the Temple, and Hundreds of Fireflies. Among his many awards and honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Grant, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Advisory Editor Joy Harjo’s seven books of poetry include She Had Some Horses, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, and How We Became Human. Her poetry has garnered many awards including a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.


Table of Contents

A Note from the Publisher xi
Introduction xiii
Poem titles/authors
Eternity Jason Shinder 1
Perhaps the World Ends Here Joy Harjo 2
Still I Rise Maya Angelou 4
Cinderella’s Diary Ron Koertge 6
Vampire’s Serenade Dana Gioia 7
Alone Edgar Allan Poe 8
Alone Siegfried Sassoon 9
Caroline Allison Joseph 10
“What are friends for…˝ Rosellen Brown 12
I Loved My Friend Langston Hughes 13
In the Fifth-Grade Locker Room Rebecca Lauren 14
Bra Shopping Parneshia Jones 16
Blood Charm Annie Finch 18
Pause Nikki Grimes 19
The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee N Scott Momaday 20
Indian Education Sherman Alexie 21
One Art Elizabeth Bishop 22
Here Arthur Sze 23
Haiku Sonia Sanchez 24
Good Girl Molly Peacock 25
Bad Boats Laura Jensen 26
No Images Waring Cuney 27
won’t you celebrate with me Lucille Clifton 28
What I’m telling you Elizabeth Alexander 29
How I Learned to Sweep Julia Alvarez 30
Sonnet 130 William Shakespeare 32
Litany Billy Collins 33
A Teenage Couple Brad Leithauser 35
Free Period David Yezzi 36
Zodiac Elizabeth Alexander 38
The Skokie Theatre Edward Hirsch 39
Valentine Wendy Cope 41
An Angry Valentine Myra Cohn Livingston 42
What Great Grief Has Made the Empress Mute June Jordan 43
Mad Girl’s Love Song Sylvia Plath 45
How We Heard the Name Alan Dugan 46
The Gladiator Kevin Prufer 47
Worth Marilyn Nelson 48
I Am A Black Gwendolyn Brooks 49
Lost Sister Cathy Song 51
Flash Cards Rita Dove 54
Arithmetic Carl Sandburg 55
Dream Variations Langston Hughes 56
Dreams Langston Hughes 57
Blackberry-picking Seamus Heaney 58
Manners Elizabeth Bishop 59
Mascara Elizabeth Spires 61
from For a Girl Becoming Joy Harjo 62
Every Day It Is Always There Rainy Ortiz 64
Dear Mama (4) Wanda Coleman 65
A Boy in a Bed in the Dark Brad Sachs 67
The Talk Sharon Olds 68
A Small Poem Calvin Forbes 69
Fears of the Eighth Grade Toi Derricotte 70
When I have fears that I may cease to be John Keats 71
Death of a Snowman Vernon Scannell 72
Oatmeal Galway Kinnell 73
Eating Poetry Mark Strand 75
The Bagel David Ignatow 76
Hope Is the Thing with Feathers Emily Dickinson77
If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking Emily Dickinson 78
The Duke’s castle John Fuller 79
Ozymandias Percy Bysshe Shelley 80
The Sacred Stephen Dunn 81
The Road Not Taken Robert Frost 82
Prowess Samuel Menashe 83
What We Might Be, What We Are X J Kennedy 84
Sideman Paul Muldoon 85
XVIII Oh, when I was in love with you A E Housman 87
Sometimes with One I Love Walt Whitman 88
In the Desert Stephen Crane 89
Annabel Lee Edgar Allan Poe 90
The Summer of Black Widows Sherman Alexie 92
Permanently Kenneth Koch 94
A Dog on His Master Billy Collins 95
Mowing Midge Goldberg 96
Seal William Jay Smith 97
Seahorses Brad Leithauser 98
So Far Naomi Shihab Nye 101
The Germ Ogden Nash 102
Baseball Bill Zavatsky 103
Poetry Slalom Mary Jo Salter 106
How I Discovered Poetry Marilyn Nelson 107
Used Book Shop X J Kennedy 108
The Survivor Marilyn Chin 110
New Clothes Kay Ryan 111
Mediation Kim Stafford 112
A Fable Louise Glück 113
Houses Nancy Willard 114
Snowmen Agha Shahid Ali 115
The Floral Apron Marilyn Chin 116
Abuelito Who Sandra Cisneros 117
Legacies Nikki Giovanni 118
Instead of Her Own Molly Peacock 119
Tia Chucha Luis J Rodriguez 120
The Adversary Phyllis McGinley 122
What Your Mother Tells You Now Mitsuye Yamada 123
33 Philip Schultz 124
49 Philip Schultz 125
What Are Heavy? Christina Rossetti 126
The Wind Sara Teasdale 127
Acquainted with the Night Robert Frost 128
When You Are Old W B Yeats 129
“Nobody can counsel and help you” Rainer Maria Rilke 130
“Live a while in these books” Rainer Maria Rilke 131
Here Yet Be Dragons Lucille Clifton 132
Sedna Kimiko Hahn 133
The Writer Richard Wilbur 135
About the contributors 149
Acknowledgments 151
Permissions 153
Index 159


From the Introduction:

This is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, or for required memorization and recitation. It’s made just for you.


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“The greatest contemporary poets speak to our youth and to us all. This marvelous anthology contains over 100 poems that matter, by such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Robert Frost and Edgar Allan P...

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Format: Hardcover

Length: 8.5 in
Width: 6 in
Weight: 15.00 oz
Page Count: 176 pages


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