HAIKU BOOK REVIEWS
REVIEWKU is collection of book reviews written in with the syllabic rules of Haiku (5/7/5 syllables per line), followed by “Nitty Gritty” book specific details including but not limited to: age range, genre, point of view (POV), theme, style, voice, setting. From braided monologues to sonnets to syllabic puzzles to Caribbean verse… enjoy these Poetry Reviewkus, mateys!
• This page features Reviewkus of the Poetic nature.
REFERENCE FOR READERS AND WRITERS OF RHYTHM AND RHYME Poetic reference. Sound, Line, Diction, Image, Rules. Forms from Free to Strict. Nitty Gritty: Adult/YA Poetry Nonfiction Reference Chapters include: Getting Ready, Reading Poems, Imitation, Sound, More Devices of Sound, The Line, Some Given Forms, Verse That is Free, Diction/Tone/Voice, Imagery, Revision, Workshops and Solitude, Conclusion Important points about evolution of free form from strict forms of the past Notes about learning form before delving into free Stress on learning by imitation – i.e. copying the words of old masters and using these copies to learn rhythm, form, style and tone “Discussing free verse is like talking about an iceberg, a shining object that is mostly underwater.” (p.68) “Speech entered the poem. The poem was no longer a lecture, it was time spent with a friend. It’s music was the music of conversation.” (p.70) “The poem is not a discussion, not a lecture, but an instant – an instance of attention, of noticing something in the world.” (p.74)...read more
POETRY LAB Handbook for children. Poetry experiments. Word activities. Nitty Gritty: Middle grade and Adult (Children and Teachers) Poetry Nonfiction Reference Definitions, explanations, examples, opportunities for experimentationMany forms and poetic devices explained, explored, defined, illustrated Chapter headings include: Acrostic Poetry, Alliteration, Alphabet Poetry, Catalog Poetry, Cento, Cinquain, Clerihew, Concrete Poetry, Couplet, Definition Poetry, Diamante, Haiku, Hexaduad, Hyperbole, Lai Verse, Limerick, Lune, Lyrics, Metaphor/Simile, Occasional Poetry, Onomatopoeia, Pantoum, Parody, Personification, Poetic Cryptograms, Quatrain, Round, Sestina, Skeltonic Verse, Sonnet, Tanka, Tongue Twister, Triolet, Triplet, Villanelle. Last chapter is headed “More Activities” and includes poetic experimentation suggestions for teacher and students including: planning a poetry reading, memorizing classic poems, marching/dancing to poetic rhythms, listing figures of speech used by sports writers, cutting out advertisements with creative product praise words, writing a chain poem (a few lines per person then pass it on…), visit a graveyard and copy down short epitaphs, cut up lines from a handful of different poems/mix/rearrange in a new hybrid way, list metaphors and expand on them, research the current poet laureate...read more
READ, WRITE, RHYME For kids and teachers. For fun and form. For good times and giggles. For you. Nitty Gritty: Children, Middle Grade, Adult Poetry handbook Non fiction Reference Aimed at both students and teachers Poetic forms defined and exemplified Directions on how to absorb a poem — read for rhythm, look for illustration, defined, then read again Short and concise Classroom tool...read more
METAPHORS, SIMILES, ANALOGIES, OH MY! Poetic tools take the spotlight. Quotations shine, fizzle, pop. Word salad. Nitty Gritty: Middle grade up through Adult Poetry Nonfiction Reference Handbook of metaphors, similes and analogies. Packed with quotes penned and spoken by famous people of past and present Showing poetic devices through examples – some wise, some not so wise Chapters range from love to sports to politics Pithy introductions direct reader into deconstructing lines to see the cogs ticking within. Lacks specific instructions for aspiring writers and poets...read more
WHAT DO I REALLY BELIEVE? WHAT DO YOU? Moving down the page. White space. Word count. Belief. Doubt. Fifteen year old flux. Nitty Gritty: YA (ages 13 and up) Verse novel / realistic fiction First person POV – fifteen year old LaVaughn Short lines, powerful words Every single word counts White space Placement of text on page Visual impact of text gives book graphic novel feel without illustration Title leads into theme Quest – self discovery Beliefs – in mom, in college, in a certain future Doubts – in God, in the church, in death, in life Coming of age – journey from self confidence to despair to acceptance Part Two – all beliefs are in flux – what do I believe in anymore? Questions with no easy answers Part three – I believe in nothing – despair – is it time to just give up? Hitting bottom with only one belief left – possibility — which leads to the crucial statement that pulls her through her ultimate crisis — “I am a true believer. And that’s a fact.” (p.243) Happy ending? Sweet sixteen birthday party — full of apologies and rekindled friendships Final realizations of friendship, trust and love Reader discussion — what do friendship trust and love mean to me? to you? to our society at large?...read more
HOOK LINE AND SINGING STINKER Poem stories swish. Brother, sister, father, fish. Trip for two turns three. Nitty Gritty: Middle grade / children’s Verse novel Realistic fiction Shifting POV (most poems from main character Sam perspective, others with sister Lucy, Dad Themes: fishing, family, gentle sibling rivalry Poetic form definitions and explanations at end of book...read more
1939 HARLEM Flying eight year old Historical fantasy Dreamy poetry Nitty Gritty: Childrens / story book / historical fiction (ages 4-8) First person-young girl’s point of view Quilted illustrations and text Flight of fantasy Vivid imagination Themes — freedom, family love, longing, torn between two worlds Symbolism — flying (child flies over the rooftops of her home), looking down on unsuspecting family (adults playing cards, little brother lying patiently waiting, hoping to join her flight) Setting – New York City, Harlem, George Washington bridge Historical timeframe- depression era Sensory — images (bridge, apartment building, city living), smells (fried chicken, roasted peanuts, picnic food), temperature (hot summer days, cool night sky) History — imagining full credit being given to the African American workers who built the bridge but were kept out of unions because of skin color Dreaming of better life, better world, better understanding of each other End notes and thought-provoking questions guide the reader towards historical knowledge Quilt guide guides the reader towards creating a personal visual tapestry of their own experiences; their own life....read more
COME BACK, ABBA Snook is lonely. Left behind. Makes friends, learns lessons, waits. happy ending. Nitty Gritty: Picture Book (Verse novel for children?) Third person / omniscient POV (storyteller feel with insights into dog emotions) Fiction/poetry Hybrid of poem collection, picture book, verse novel for the very young, storybook Main character – dog (Snook), monk (dog’s owner – Abba Jacob) Dog emotions Themes – loneliness, separation, reunion, friendship, devotion, patience, faith Forging an existence in a new and possible dangerous place Island life Exotic creatures Dogs POV Vibrant images of sea life – flora, fauna, animal...read more
LOST PARADISE Secrets, lies. Love, God. Running, hiding, found. Control, choices. Search, survive. Nitty Gritty: Young adult Verse novel First person POV Sixteen year old protagonist (Angel) Themes: drugs, sex, term confusion, loneliness, choices) Painful subject, difficult choices, brutal realities of gritty life...read more
FAIRY TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE Opinions, background voices, motivations, side stories, new truths told. Nitty Gritty: Middle grade / young adult Fairy tale collection – subversive fiction Multiple POVs – shifting from story to story and sometimes within single stories Prose and poetry combination Dark side and gritty underbelly of we’ll k own fairy tales Strong imagery Black graphic shadow / cut out style illustrations Distinctive voices of main and secondary characters...read more
STANZAS FOR THE MASSES Having fun with words. Teaching, teasing. Pull, prod, poke. “This is just to say.” QUOTABLE “I wonder how you are going to feel / when you find out / that I wrote this instead of you” Nitty Gritty: Who: Various unnamed characters (occasionally the poet himself, but not always!) What: Poetry Where: across the country When: Present day; some flashbacks; some flash forwards Why: An exploration and explanation of childhood, music (jazz), emotion (especially love), getting older, passing time, education, reading, writing and understanding… How: Mainly first person POV, Simple, straightforward voice; everyday language...read more
HE MAY LOOK GOOD, BUT WAIT…
Three girls, three stories
three voices sob one story.
One boy devastates.read more
HOMERIC HERO, CIVIL RIGHTS SPARK
Heroic crown. True.
Sonnets. Lynching. Innocence.
History. Legacy.read more
Growing up with Joe.
Baseball and Grandpa. War. Dreams.
Twenty four stories.read more
1956 TRUTHS STILL TRUE TODAY
Black, white. Puppy, snow.
Urban Chicago. Poems,
kids. Universal.read more
44 POEMS – FROM THE HANDS OF THE MAN AND HIS FRIENDS
Runaway. Free slave.
Memories. Collection. Plants.
Inventions. Passion.read more
MISSING SISTER, LAUGHTER, MEMORIES…GAMES WITH MASTERS AND MEN
Angry boy. Battles.
Chess master to the rescue?
Black and white board game.read more
BURNING AT BOTH ENDS
Crystal meth brings Bree
out from Kristina. Daddy
sets bad exampleread more
STEPPING THROUGH HISTORY
Cupped hand sonnet path.
River crossing. Suffragette.
War. Hunger. Farm. Love.read more
BROTHERLY JEALOUSY, BROTHERLY LOVE
Free verse Bible, free
boy now. Two voices, two dads.
Two journeys. God. Faith.read more
1932 TRUTHS STILL TRUE TODAY
Fun froth to storm pain.
Music, melody. Blues, truth.
Diverse characters.read more
I CAN’T DO WHAT I WON’T DO IF IT ISN’T TRUE…OR IS IT?
Out of focus. Blurred.
Where did the truth go? What do
I do now? And how?read more
CITY/COUNTRY, BLACK/WHITE, WHO DID WHAT AND WHY?
City boy. Local
girl. Murder. Accusations.
Color barriers.read more
FORTUNES BONES – THE MANUMISSION REQUIEM by Marilyn Nelson with notes and annotations by Pamela Espeland
History in verse.
Chorus of voices – grief, joy –
Wrongs that teach us right.read more
GROWING UP – KICKING AND SCREAMING ALL THE WAY
gives way to reality.
Crushing into love.read more