Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eating Poetry, Number Two: A Poem for Lee Bennett Hopkins

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Last November at the NCTE Annual Convention, we had a big celebration in honor of Lee Bennett Hopkins, "The Poetry Man," who became the 15th recipient of the NCTE Award in Excellence in Poetry for Children. You can read my post about our party for Lee here.

We presented Lee with a very special anthology compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong for the occasion. The book, Dear One: A Tribute to Lee Bennett Hopkins, contains poems written by children’s poets in honor of Lee.

Here’s the poem that I wrote for Dear One. The words printed in italics are titles of Lee’s poetry books.

Eating Poetry
by Elaine Drabik Magliaro

Here we are
sitting side by side,
eating through a day
full of poems,
chewing on wonderful words,
delicious words
full of surprises
words that flit, flutter, fly
from our tongues,
words that taste of
April, bubbles, chocolate,
words with the scent of
sky magic.

Here we are
sitting side by side
savoring similes,
munching on metaphors,
rhymes dribbling down our chins,
licking rhythm from our lips.

Here we are
sitting side by side
in the city I love
eating poetry
a l l d a y l o n g…

I decided to write another poem for Lee yesterday. Lee helped whet my appetite for children’s poetry. He introduced me to the works of hundreds of poets through his numerous anthologies. He provided me with a taste of many different delicious poetic voices.

Eating Poetry, Number Two
(A Poem for Lee Bennett Hopkins)
By Elaine Magliaro

I enjoy eating poetry!
It’s so delicious.
I love the way poets’ words
Taste on my tongue:
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter.
I favor every flavor.

I enjoy eating poetry!
Some poems are smooth as silk…
Slide down my throat
Like melted chocolate.
Some are crunchy
And crackle when I say them.
Some are light as air…
Dissolve like pink clouds
Of cotton candy in my mouth.

I enjoy eating poetry!
Some poems are best for nibbling on…
Bite by yummy bite
As I relish every metaphoric morsel.
Some poems are comforting,
Warm me
Like a bowl
Of steaming beef stew
On a frigid night.
Some poems tempt me
To eat more…promise:
“You’ll like your second helping
Even better than the first.”

I enjoy eating poetry…
Lots and lots of poetry—
Oodles of odes,
Heaps of haiku,
Bowls of ballads—
All its scrumptious varieties.

Here’s a poem.
Take a taste.
I know you’ll enjoy
Eating poetry

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