Oct 28, 2017

The Poetry Plunge Begins: Cybils Nominees

After numerous trips to the library, I am now facing an enormous stack of 2017 books nominated for the CYBILS Poetry category. Some of which, (many, in fact),  I've read previously, but they will get close second reads. Also included are many that lingered on my "wanna read" list but hadn't yet reached the surface. Among the stack are a few that had flown under my radar until now, which is always exciting. With a deadline looming, I look forward to deep reads on each and every title.

If you care to read along, you can find all the nominated titles at the Cybils site, here.

I'll be keeping a record of my reading on my Goodreads account, which you're invited to follow. Some are NOT picture books, so they won't appear in posts here. Without indicating comparisons or preferences, I do plan to share brief notes about many of the picture books on this blog. Before I begin that process, though, I encountered this poem, shared on the WRITERS ALMANAC on 10/28/2017:

The POEM OF THE FUTURE, by J. R. Solonche
The poem of the future will be smaller.
It will fit in the palm of your hand,
on your wrist, in your ear.
The poem of the future will not need
bulky batteries or cumbersome wires.
It will be powered by moonlight and weed.
The poem of the future will be automatic.
It will go for months without routine maintenance.
It will be faster, smoother, with a digital tick.
The poem of the future will be lighter.
It will be made of plastics and exotic metals.
It will be available in hundreds of shapes and colors.
The poem of the future will make our lives true.
It will perform in a second what it takes
the poem of the present a day to do.
The poem of the future will talk to us.
It will say things like “Buy IBM,” and “Be my friend,”
and “Pulvis et umbra sumus.”
“The Poem of the Future” by J.R. Solonche from Invisible. © Five Oaks Press, 2017. 
That last quote, by the way, "Pulvis et umbra sumus", translates to "We are dust and shadow". 

I appreciate the wry irony of this poem. It takes little effort to bump into whiny complaints about kid-sized, digitally-dependent humans losing any capacity to sustain attention. The hyped pitch in the poem above implies the same, and yet ends with a nod to the truth: poetry may use fewer words, but they are the BEST words, the RIGHT words, the words that allow each reader to savor the delicious bits on the tongue while consuming and digesting dust, shadows, and insights. Poetry leaves room for second helpings, prompting recommendations and requests for more.
This, too, is the nature of picture books, so my task is a welcome one.
WORDSONG, September, 2017

For now, I'll close here and plunge into the stacks of books. First, though, I'll copy my Goodreads comments about one of the picture books, Read! Read! Read!, with poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke:  
"This has been in my TBR pile for more than a month, and now I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner. 
The collection of poems represents a range of structures, topics, rhymed and unrhymed verse, reflective and immediate concepts. Within its pages there are poems about Googling guinea pigs, dealing with grief in stories to be prepared for real-life grieving, stoking imaginations, exploring the past and the future, among many other recognizable moments in life. This is a must-have for every library and classroom and makes an ideal gift book as well."

With that, I'll close and "face the music" of poetry!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Picture books are as versatile and diverse as the readers who enjoy them. Join me to explore the wacky, wonderful, challenging and changing world of picture books.