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Friday, January 09, 2015

Poetry Friday--Write-Your-Own

This has been a make-your-own week at Kurious Kitty. So, what better topic for Poetry Friday than write-your-own poetry!

The best place to start is to read poetry! Look through the hundreds of titles in the 800 section. A quick Dewey Decimal explanation:
  • 81 American literature in English
  • 82 English & Old English literatures
  • 83 German & related literatures
  • 84 French & related literatures
  • 85 Italian, Romanian & related literatures
  • 86 Spanish, Portuguese, Galician literatures
  • 87 Latin & Italic literatures 88 Classical & modern Greek literatures
  • 89 Other literatures
After those numbers, look for a "1". That is the designation for poetry, so, 811 would be American poetry, 821 English poetry, etc.

If you're interested in poetry how-tos, look in the 800's for "80 Literature, rhetoric & criticism." Chances are, guides will be found there, although, some may be found in the 811 or 821 sections, and, books on teaching poetry are found in the 370 "Education" section. (I'm not a cataloger, so I can't explain the reasoning behind every Dewey # assignment!)

Here are a few poetry guides to look for:

Cohen, Sage. Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read & Write Poetry. [808.1 COH]

Fletcher, Ralph J. Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from Inside Out. [J 808.1 FLE]

Macken, JoAnn Early. Read, Recite, and Write Free Verse Poems. [J 808.1 MAC]

Magee, Wes. How to Write Poems. [J 808.1 MAG]

Morice, Dave. The Adventures of Dr. Alphabet: 104 Unusual Ways to Write Poetry in the Classroom and the Community. [372.64 MOR]

Pinsky, Robert. Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters. [808.1 PIN]

Prelutsky, Jack. Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem. [3M ebook]

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme. Jack Prelutsky, compiler. [J 811.54 REA]

Salas, Laura Purdie. Write Your Own Poetry. [J 808.1 SAL]

If you're the type to get philosophical about things, look for the 3M ebook titled Art and Poetry by Jacques Maritain. Here's a description:
The book delves into Maritain’s thoughts on the nature and subjectivity of art and poetry. As a philosopher, Maritain attempts to define the two concepts, describing art and poetry as "virtues," and as primarily concerned with beauty. Rather than focus on aesthetic theory, Maritain examines the concepts at a more tangible level, including a discussion of how they are made.
That should be enough to get you started! Writing poetry can be fun, therapeutic, challenging, and so much more!

Speaking of fun, head over to Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. Thanks for the list and the explanation of the dewy system. I find a little sad that poetry can sometimes be lost in the nonfiction section, with kids unlikely to stumble across it unless they're guided by someone in the know.

    1. Unless teachers and other adults lose their "fear" of poetry, it won't make a difference where you shelve the poetry. Remember that advice about modeling behavior? It certainly holds true for poetry.

  2. Thanks for the helpful post, Diane! I will browse those spots the next time I go.

    So you've been blogging for eight years? Wow!! Good for you for being so consistent!

    1. Yes, it sure is hard to believe! Eight years--who woulda thunk it? That was back when the big thing in libraryland was web 2.0. Who even knows what that means anymore?

  3. What a wonderful post from one of my favorite feline librarians! Prelutsky's Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem was the first book that really turned me on to writing children's poetry.

    1. I've never actually read that one, Michelle. Maybe I should!

  4. As usual, your post had me scurrying to the university library's website to see what we have available! Thanks for rounding up so many helpful titles.

    1. This is only a partial list, so I'm sure you'll find all of the books and more!

  5. Thank you for mentioning Free Verse from my Poet's Workshop series! I also wrote Write a Poem Step by Step, which is based on the poetry writing workshops I present in schools. Two favorites I use for teaching adults are A Poetry Handbook and Rules for the Dance by Mary Oliver--both wonderful resources and easy to understand.

    1. Thanks for stopping by JoAnn. I'll see if B & T carries Write a Poem Step by Step. I didn't include all relevant titles, but we do own Mary Oliver's books [808.1 OLI]. We also own more of your "Poet's Workshop" series. :-)

    2. I'm glad to hear it! I've just turned in the seventh book in the Poet's Workshop series. One more to go!