books, children's books, creativity, K.A. Holt, Kenard Pak, Mary Oliver, picture book author, picture book illustrators, pre-school classroom, Random House Children's Books

A Poetic Thought

Do you like poetry? If you do, why do you? If you don’t, why don’t you? I’m curious.

Myself, I like poetry for its expressive focus, the often overlooked perceptions it shares and the empathy it encourages. What do I mean by that? Well, poems can speak of the simple action of buttoning and unbuttoning a shirt, or what it’s like to hear your name mispronounced, but through evocative imagery and nuanced expressions of emotion, memory, and thought they allow me to understand and feel more deeply.

Recently I’ve been enjoying listening to Poetry Unbound, a podcast produced by On Being and narrated by Padraig O’Tuama. I’d recommend listening in. The podcasts are only 8 minutes long and really quite lovely.

While my mind was on poetry the rest of me was in the midst of preparing a lesson for a group of pre-k students and the topic was supposed to be about rocks. Supposed to be are the key words in that sentence. Why? Well, during February break my school changed the topic. These things happen. It’s best not to ask questions and just go with it.

Anyway, my search for picture books about rocks and stones led me to think about Mary Oliver’s poem, “Do Stones Feel?” and then because I frequently peruse the new picture books in the children’s section of the library I came across the poetic picture book I Wonder, published by Random House Children’s Books, written by K. A. Holt and illustrated by Kenard Pak. Now you might say that Mary Oliver’s poem and a picture book are unrelated but to the circuitous traveling of my mind, maybe yours too, they are closely connected.

But I’ll leave that for you to decide. I hope you enjoy them both.

I wonder . . .?

DO STONES FEEL?

Do stones feel?

Do they love their life?

Or does their patience drown out everything else?

When I walk on the beach I gather a few

white ones, dark ones, the multiple colors.

Don’t worry, I say, I’ll bring you back, and I do.

Is the tree as it rises delighted with its many branches,

Each one like a poem?

Are the clouds glad to unburden their bundles of rain?

Most of the world says no, no, it’s not possible.

I refuse to think to such a conclusion.

Too terrible it would be, to be wrong.

I WONDER by K.A. Holt and illustrated by Kenard Pak
Is cereal afraid of the spoon?
Do tires get tired?
I wonder if books read us, too.

1 thought on “A Poetic Thought”

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