Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word

Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word
written by Bob Raczka; illustrated by Nancy Doniger
2011 (Roaring Brook Press)
Source: Mebane Public Library

vacation (Bob Raczka, 2011)


  ac tion
        i n
     a
va       n

Author Bob Raczka explains in the foreword to Lemonade that he was inspired to write his "one word" poems by reading the poetry of concrete poet Andrew Russ. Russ chooses one word and "lines up each letter in the poem under the same letter in the title." This is a clever approach to poetry and quite challenging. I tried writing a poem in this format and I had to really work my brain. That is a big part of the appeal of Lemonade to me. I like the wordplay and the thinking involved. Raczka's titles will be familiar to young writers which should lessen the hesitancy in trying to write these types of poems. I see a great cross-curricular opportunity with this format. It would be interesting to ask students to try and write a poem with a title like Tornado (jeff barger, 2011)
                                      torn
                                            a
                                      t
                                        r    o
                                       o
                                     t
I wrote this poem and noticed that it actually looks like a twister. You could use this in science, social studies, math, etc. If you are interested in stretching your students' creativity and writing, find a copy of Lemonade and stretch your mind.

Other reviews:
Waking Brain Cells
GreenBeanTeenQueen



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