from the teaching files
of children's author and educator
Barbara Jean Hicks,
April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, I've been posting poems on my Facebook page--so far some haiku from the Japanese masters of the form (one of my favorites) and a couple of book-spine poems.
Never heard of a book-spine poem? Poetry lesson of the day: Book-spine poems are just one example of a poetic form called a "cento"--a poem made up entirely of lines from other people's works, arranged to form a new work. I think of it as "word collage."
Here are two examples, compiled from books on my own shelves. If you're inspired, compile a book-spine poem of your own, snap a picture, and hop on over to Facebook to post the image on my Wall. (Teachers--this is a great activity for kids, encouraging them to make connections between lines of prose to form their own poem.)