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Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and…

Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and Inspiration for Young Poets

by Paul B. Janeczko

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Not only is "Seeing the Blue Between" a collection of poems, but it is also a collection of letters from famous poets to aspiring poets. The letters are all full of tips and encouragement for anyone with any interest in starting poetry or bettering their poetry. I really enjoyed the parts I read and I think this would be a great book for the higher grade levels, especially during a writing workshop or for kids who take an interest in poetry.

Some of my favorites included "Bleak Prospect", "The Whirligig Beetles" "Fog", "Every Cat Had A Story" and "Subways Are People". ( )
  NRedler | Feb 27, 2016 |
Awesome for use in the middle school classroom. Includes poems PLUS letters written by the poets to young writers. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
POETS compiled by Paul B. Janeczko, Candlewick, April 2002

The Blue Between

Everyone watches clouds,
naming creatures they've seen.
I see the sky differently,
I see the blue between--

The blue woman tugging
her stubborn cloud across the sky.
The blue giraffe stretching
to nibble a cloud floating by.
A pod of dancing dolphins,
cloud oceans, cargo ships,
a boy twirling his cloud
around a thin blue fingertip.

In those smooth wide places,
I see a different scene
In those cloudless spaces,
I see the blue between. --Kristine O'Connell George

SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN is an exceptional collection, a veritable feast,
brought together by Paul Janeczko. It would be well-worth owning a copy
simply for the tasty samplings of poetry dished up by nearly three dozen
extraordinary poets. But what makes it a must-have resource, for say
ten-years and up, are the essays by these same well-known writers, whose
combined writing experience is nearly 1,000 years.

Gingerbread Boy

The world is one mouth
So many teeth bite my heels
I run on my toes --Jane Yolen

The essays are about writing poetry, the various poets sharing words of
inspiration as well as some get-down-and-dirty tactics for getting it right.
The focuses of the essays are as wonderfully diverse as are the styles of the

For instance, Ralph Fletcher talks about "Digging for Mystery":

"...When I use that word--mystery--I mean the truth about the subject that
isn't obvious, that's under the surface...Poets find mystery in everyday
things and objects: a baby's head, your grandmother's loose-skinned hand, a
key chain full of keys sprawled on the counter."

Or, there's Naomi Shihab Nye, who offers young poets a new perspective on the
concept of revision:

"...If a teacher told me to revise, I thought that meant my writing was a
broken-down car that needed to go to the repair shop. I felt insulted. I
didn't realize the teacher was saying, 'Make it shine. It's worth it.'
Now I see revision as a beautiful word of hope. It's a new vision of
something. It means you don't have to be perfect the first time. What a

Or take Jack Prelutsky (whose "Worm Puree" I sang again just last week during
a couple of booktalks). Jack discusses how to write funny poems,
specifically, "Exaggeration," "Making the ordinary special," and "Absurd
conclusions." He follows up with a poems that I've now shared during a
pre-fireworks get-together and a birthday party:

Euphonica Jarre

Euphonica Jarre has a voice that's bizarre
but Euphonica warbles all day,
as windowpanes shatter and chefs spoil the batter
and mannequins moan with dismay.

Mighty ships run aground at her horrible sound,
pretty pictures fall out of their frames,
trees drop off their branches,
rocks start avalanches,
and flower beds burst into flames.

When she opens her mouth, even eagles head south,
little fish truly wish they could drown,
the buzzards all hover, as tigers take cover,
and rats pack their bags and leave town.

Milk turns into butter and butterflies mutter
and bees look for something to sting,
pigs peel off their skins, a tornado begins
when Euphonica Jarre starts to sing.

The list goes on and on: Bruchac, Cedering, Dakos, Dugan, Farnsworth,
Florian, Ford, Grimes, Heard, Hemp, Herrick, Hoberman, Hopkins, Hudgins,
Katz, Kennedy, Kuskin, Lewis, Lyon, Moore, Morrison, Pow, Rosenberg, Singer,
Vinz, Wong...

...Oh, and Alice Schertle, who talks about how:

"Whoever you are, wherever you are, there's a poem within arm's reach of

Alice, whose illustrated book, A LUCKY THING, we used this year to initiate
the poetry unit with our eighth graders, includes a poem from that collection
here, along with another which I suspect was left over from creating that

A Frog in a Well
Explains the World

The world is round
and deep
and cool.
The bottom of the world's
a pool
with just enough room
for a frog alone.
The walls of the world
are of stone on stone.
At the top of the world,
when I look up high,
I can see a star
in a little round sky.

You can bet that we'll be using SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN when we get to poetry
next year.

Richie Partington
BudNotBuddy at aol.com ( )
  richiespicks | May 27, 2009 |
32 renowned poets, including greats like Nikki Grimes, Jack Prelutsky and J. Patrick Lewis give advice and support on writing poetry. Further inspiration is given through some of their own favorite poems. ( )
  janbrennan | Jul 20, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076362909X, Paperback)

"For a class, or to work up enthusiasm about writing - and not just poetry - one could hardly do better for young people than this fresh and inviting collection." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

How do you write poetry? It's a question with as many answers as there are poets. Now, in this unprecedented volume, thirty-two internationally renowned poets provide words of wisdom and inspiring examples of their own work for new poets everywhere.

Compiled by anthologist extraordinaire Paul B. Janeczko, a talented poet in his own right, this outstanding resource offers a fascinating spectrum of advice from those who know best - ranging from "break a few rules" to "read Shakespeare's sonnets in the bathroom" to "revise each poem at least thirty-two times." Not surprisingly, the most frequently made suggestion from these seasoned poets is simply to "read, read, read!" This rich volume - an ideal resource for classroom teachers and a beautiful gift for budding writers of all ages - offers the perfect opportunity to do just that.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection filled with poems and advice from 32 renowned poets, including Douglas Florian, Nikki Grimes, Lee Bennett Hopkins, J. Patrick Lewis, Jack Prelutsky, and Liz Rosenberg. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.

» see all 2 descriptions

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763608815, 076362909X

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