Looking for a book, DVD, CD, or other item? Search our catalog!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Poetry Friday--Songs of Myself

I'll bet you thought this was going to be a post about Walt Whitman, didn't you? It's not! It's a post to tell you about a awesome book of poetry and art designed for children, Songs of Myself: An Anthology of Poems and Art compiled by Georgia Heard [J 811.008 SON]. Of course, the title is, as Heard says in the "Introduction," taken from the Whitman poem "Song of Myself."
This poem inspired me to create this anthology. I chose the poems and art in this book to help us celebrate and explore the many different parts of ourselves....So, I invite you to read the poems and gaze at the sampling of art--and to keep asking yourself that important question, "Who am I?"
The book would be a useful resource for teachers, and, although it was published ten years ago, it is still in print. It is available in a "Big Book" format and/or CD, too.

The first poem in the book is from Shakespeare:

A star danced
and under that
was I born.

It is accompanied by a colorful painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, The Lawrence Tree. (An interesting aside, the painting is oriented with the base of the tree at the lower right, I found a webpage that explains that this common orientation is incorrect!)

Other pairings include "The Voice" by Shel Silverstein with Echoes of Harlem, 1980 by Faith Ringgold/W Possi, "I Have All These Parts..." by Arnold Adoff with a photo illustration by Jay Corbett, and "the First Day of Spring" by Eve Merriam with a cut-paper sculpture by Meredith Thomas.

Don't miss this striking collection, and don't forget to stop by Teaching Authors for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. This sounds like a great book to add to my collection. And I love knowing about the correct orientation of that painting. It's so much more powerful seen the correct way!

  2. Yes, you fooled me. I thought your post was going to be about Walt Whitman. You know I love mixing poetry and art, so that book sounds right up my alley. That is SO interesting about the O'Keeffe painting, Diane. I can imagine that I would have hung it the wrong way, too!

  3. Thanks for letting us know about this book. I love Georgia Heard's work!

  4. Well, yes - I did expect Whitman! This sounds like a wonderful anthology. Thanks for showing it to us.