Poetry Friday: The poems (and art) I like best

h1 April 3rd, 2009 by jules

I am madly and truly and deeply in love with this illustration, Chris Raschka’s depiction of the Jabberwock (and the “beamish boy” who slays him). You can click on the image to see it along with the classic Lewis Carroll poem, as it appears in A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout, released last month by Candlewick. My poem for today is also from this title, but I’ll get to that in a second.

The poems in this collection were selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Raschka. If you’re familiar with A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems (2001) and A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms (2005), then you know this series of titles from the award-winning duo, this one being the final book in the series, celebrating poems that are excellent read-aloud choices. There are rhymes; poems for one, two, and three voices, as well as poems for groups; bilingual poems; tongue twisters; limericks; and more. Janeczko has chosen traditional rhymes, contemporary poems, and just about everything in between. And Raschka. Raschka. How I love Raschka. His art is like a jolt of electricity. I don’t think I could even begin to pick favorite illustrations from this title, though I have to say I love that the cover shows the “olive drab corduroy coat / A wide-wale corduroy coat / And the grooves went round and round / Instead of up and down / On my olive drab corduroy coat” of the protagonist in George Ellya Lyon’s “Favorite,” included in this collection. Here’s Raschka’s depiction, from this same title, of Edward Lear’s Owl and Pussy-Cat (again, you can click on the image itself to see the complete spread with Lear’s poem):

The collection opens with Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s ode to poetry, which I absolutely adore. I secured her permission to post it in its entirety below. Many thanks to her, and remember all rights reserved on her poem and all that important stuff.

Here’s to National Poetry Month! Today’s round-up is being hosted by Amy Planchak Graves at ayuddha.net.

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A FOOT IN THE MOUTH. This collection copyright © 2009 by Paul B. Janeczko. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by Chris Raschka. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

10 comments to “Poetry Friday: The poems (and art) I like best”

  1. Ooh, I love Tracie’s poem! “Wooden spoon of words”! *swoon*

    The collection looks really interesting. Chris’ artwork is wonderfully quirky/appealing. Never seen the Jabberwock look quite like that :).

  2. I adore that Jabberwock and beamish boy too. His work jolts you awake, even if you thought your eyes were already open for the day.

    Thanks for the “taste” of Raschka and Zimmer. mmmmmm.

  3. This is one of those posts which — unintentionally? — offers many cross-references.

    For instance, I clicked on the link to see the illustration for and to re-read “The Owl and the Pussycat.” (It’s a fabulous illustration, btw.) In the course of the poem, of course I came upon the phrase “runcible spoon,” which made me wonder just what the heck that was. Perhaps needless to say, Wikipedia has an entire entry on it — it turns out to mean, uh, probably nothing at all, just sorta sounds “whimsical” (as Wikipedia says).

    But while I was there I couldn’t help noticing the artwork from another of Edward Lear’s works. This depicts the “Dolomphius Duck” using a runcible spoon to catch frogs. And of course, for some reason this week, I have been encountering freaking ducks everywhere

    So then I come back here to read Tracy Vaughn Zimmer’s poem (which is WONDERFUL). I hit the line (also singled out by jama) about the “wooden spoon of words” and am stopped dead in my tracks.

    Lovely post, Jules!

  4. This book was already on my “must-buy” list. Tracie’s poem, though, – *swoon*

  5. Delicious!

    I am off to order the book immediately from Indiebound.

    Thank you so much for the irresistible taste.


  6. Thanks so much for featuring my poem, Jules!!

    This is my 1st anthology!!!!!

  7. One of my favorite poems ever! Thanks for sharing it with so many others.

  8. This injects joy into my day.

  9. Oh, lovely! A wooden spoon and a taste — a whisper — a hand holding mine, saying, “Look.” Poetry is such a fabulous companion.

  10. I’m reading this for Poetry Monday click around; the early edition (where I catch up with all I missed on Friday). What a delight to wake up to! Thanks so much for putting these illustrations up and posting Tracie’s poem.

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