Read Small Poems by Valerie Worth Free Online
Book Title: Small Poems|
The size of the: 35.46 MB
Edition: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of issue: April 1st 1985
The author of the book: Valerie Worth
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9780374370725
Read full description of the books Small Poems:Title: Small Poems
Author: Valerie Worth
Illustrator: Natalie Babbitt
Genre: Poetry anthology or collection of poems for children or chapter book written in verse
Theme(s): short poems, object, imagery
Opening line/sentence: “Porches: On the front porch Chairs sit still;”
Brief Book Summary: Worth writes short poems about objects and uses great similes to describe them. Each poem is only about one object; for example, the poem is titled “daisies” or “pie” or “pig.”
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
School Library Journal
Grade 2-6 The poet's ability to capture the essence of ordinary things in a few words is no better exemplified than in Worth's short poems, three volumes of which have been published previously (Farrar). Children will marvel at Worth's ability to examine familiar animals and everyday objects with not a wasted word. Particularly enchanting are ``The tiger /Has swallowed /A black sun. . . /Black flames /Flicker through /His fur'' or ``Library'': ``No need even /To take out /A book: only /Go inside /And savor /The heady /Dry breath of /Ink and paper, /Or stand and /Listen to the /Silent twitter /Of a billion / Tiny busy /Black words.'' The other 23 poems are equally perceptive and examine anteaters, giraffes, jacks, flies and coat hangers, among others. As in Worth's earlier poetry books, Babbit adds a perfectly complementary understated pen-and-ink drawing to each poem. A rare delight. Barbara McGinn, Oak Hill Elementary School, Severna Park, Md.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Professional Recommendation/Review #2:
In her fourth volume of small poems, Worth presents us with 25 polished gems that reflect the world in all its particularities. Both the lyrics and Babbitt's black-and-white drawings are understated but astonishingly vivid. The poet focuses on homely things coat hangers, fleas, a starfish, a dandelion and makes us see what we carelessly miss. The tiger has "swallowed/ A black sun" and "carries it still:/ Black flames/ Flicker through/ His fur." A skunk walks by, "half vapor, half/ Shade, diffusing/ The night's uncanny/ Essence and atmosphere." The mantis bows "such lean and monklike/ Shoulders" and the poet asks if he is "Wholly/ Holy Pretending/ To pray/ While intending/ To prey." Each image of these spare poems startles, and each verse reveals the sensibilities in a poet who respects her audience.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Response to Two Professional Reviews: I agree with both of these reviews, especially how she “captures the essence of ordinary things in a few words.” I also like how review talks about the lyrics and understated drawings being “astonishingly vivid” because at first they seem so simple, yet they’re so complex and extraordinary.
Evaluation of Literary Elements: Worth uses a lot of similes and metaphors to describe these objects to the reader. The way she breaks her poems into lines makes the poems flow and easy to read. She also includes a small picture (sketch) per poem in pen to help with imagery of what she’s writing. She also titles each poem with a single word (the object) and does not capitalize or punctuate them.
Consideration of Instructional Application: This book would be great to read-aloud in any elementary classroom. Students could easily write their own poems about a single object of their choosing. Students could practice using similes and metaphors in their poems and adding imagery to really describe the object to a reader. For practice, they could have another student guess what object they’re writing about.
Read information about the author(October 29, 1933 - July 31, 1994)
Acclaimed poet Valerie Worth Bahlke was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Swarthmore, where her father taught biology at Swarthmore College. The family then moved to Tampa, Florida, and Bangalore, India, where they lived for one year. Valerie returned to Swarthmore to attend college, graduating with an English degree and High Honors. Shortly thereafter she married George Bahlke, a fellow Swarthmore graduate. After settling in Clinton, NY, Valerie met Natalie Babbitt at Kirkland College, and Natalie began to illustrate Valerie's work, starting with Small Poems in 1972. Three more volumes followed: More Small Poems (1976); Still More Small Poems (1978); and Small Poems Again (1986). All four volumes were issued in a single paperback, All the Small Poems (1987), and seven years later, All the Small Poems and Fourteen More was released and was then followed by a paperback edition in 1996. In 2002, FSG posthumously published Peacock and Other Poems by Valerie Worth, with pictures by Natalie Babbitt, a collection of 27 poems which Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, said "heralds the joy of words." School Library Journal, in a starred review, declared that "[Valerie Worth's] work gives children something to admire and aim for."
Valerie Worth was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1991 with its Poetry Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, which acknowledges a body of work.
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