This Poem Is a Nest by Irene Latham, art by Johanna Wright

Published by Wordsong

This Poem Is a Nest: Latham, Irene, Wright, Johanna: 9781684373635:  Books
This Poem Is a Nest: Latham, Irene, Wright, Johanna: 9781684373635:  Books

Summary:  Poet Irene Latham starts with a poem about a bird’s nest divided into four three-verse sections, one for each season.  She then uses the words from this poem to create new short poems.  The titles use different words, but all the words for each poem come from the original work; thus, the new poems are “nestlings” from the original “Nest”.  The nestlings are divided into seven sections about time (two sections), colors, emotions, wordplay, and places.  Most poems are 3-5 lines long with just a word or two in each line.  Includes an introduction, tips on how to choose a nest poem and create nestlings of your own, and an index of poem titles.  112 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  I love this concept, a bit of a twist on found poetry, and would enjoy trying it with a group of kids.  The poems are brief, but each one really speaks: “First Poem-Draft: ink squeaks/with hope”.  “Playing the Trumpet: glittery trill/golden thrum–/splashsong!”  Simple enough to be a good introduction to poetry in early grades, yet expressive enough to use with older kids, and plenty here to encourage active poetry writing.

Cons:  I loved the illustrations, and wouldn’t have minded seeing one on every page.

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