Cover image for Poetry speaks who I am
Poetry speaks who I am
Paschen, Elise.
Publication Information:
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, 2010.
Physical Description:
136 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
Collects more than one hundred poems for young readers, with selections by Maya Angelou, Arthur Sze, Langston Hughes, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, William Butler Yeats, and others; and includes an audio CD with some of the poets reading their works.
Eternity / Perhaps the world ends here / Still I rise / Cinderella's diary / Vampire's serenade / Alone / Alone / Caroline / "What are friends for..." / I loved my friend / In the fifth-grade locker room / Bra shopping / Blood charm / Pause / Delight song of Tsoai-talee / Indian education / One art / Here / Haiku / Good girl / Bad boats / No images / won't you celebrate with me / What I'm telling you / How I learned to sweep / Sonnet 130 / Litany / A teenage couple / Free period / Zodiac / Skokie theater / Valentine / An angry Valentine / What great grief has made the empress mute / Mad girl's love song / How we heard the name / Gladiator / Worth / I am a Black / Lost sister / Flash cards / Arithmetic / Dream variations / Dreams / Blackberry-picking / Manners / Mascara / from For a girl beginning / Every day it is always there / Dear Mama (4) / A boy in a bed in the dark / Talk / A small poem / Fears of the eighth grade / When I have fears that I may cease to be / Death of a snowman / Oatmeal / Eating poetry / Bagel / Hope is the thing with feathers / If I can stop one heart from breaking / Duke's castle / Ozymandias / Sacred / Road not taken / Prowess / What we might be, what we are / Sideman / XVIII. Oh, when I was in love with you / Sometimes with one I love / In the desert / Annabel Lee / Summer of black widows / Permanently / A dog on his master / Mowing / Seal / Seahorses / So far / Germ / Baseball / Poetry slalom / How I discovered poetry / Used book shop / Survivor / New clothes / Mediation / A fable / Houses / Snowmen / Floral apron / Abuelito who / Legacies / Instead of her own / Tia Chucha / Adversary / What your mother tells you now / 33 / 49 / What are heavy? / Wind / Acquainted with the night / When you are old / "Nobody can counsel and help you" / "Live a while in these books" / Here yet be dragons / Sedna / Writer
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS584 .P63 2010 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book. Poetry can be life altering. It can be gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking. And it's meant to be experienced, so we've included aCD on which you'll hear 44 poems, 39 of which are original recordings-you'll only find them here. You'll hear poets both classic and contemporary, well-known and refreshingly new, including: - Dana Gioia expresses the hunger of a "Vampire's Serenade" - Elizabeth Alexander waits for that second kiss in "Zodiac" - Langston Hughes flings his arms wide in "Dream Variations" - Marilyn Nelson reads to her class in "How I Discovered Poetry" - Paul Muldoon's poem "Sideman," brought loudly to life by the band Rackett - And 39 more poems that are immediate and vibrant From Lucille Clifton's "Here Yet Be Dragons" to Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" to "Tia Chucha," by Luis J. Rodriguez, Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you. If you're lucky, it'll serve as a gateway to a lifetime lived with poetry. At the very least, it'll be a good time. Dive in, and happy hunting.

Author Notes

Elise Paschen was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. While an undergraduate at Harvard, she was awarded the Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal and the Joan Grey Untermyer Poetry Prize. Elise received her M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in 20th Century British and American Literature at Oxford University where she co-founded Oxford Poetry.

Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America from 1988 until 2001, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion. Paschen was the featured Illinois poet at the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress in September 2006.

Elise Paschen is the author of Bestiary (Red Hen Press, 2009), Infidelities (Story Line Press, 1996), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Houses: Coasts (Oxford: Sycamore Press). Her poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies and she is editor of The New York Times best-selling anthology Poetry Speaks to Children and Poetry Speaks Who I Am (Sourcebooks).

Dr. Paschen serves as Poet Laureate of Three Oaks, Michigan and teaches in the MFA Writing Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She lives in Chicago with her husband and their two children.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

From baseball to first kisses to family, friends, community, love, and anger, the subjects in the 108 poems that make up this lively anthology will appeal to young people. The editors mix classic and contemporary selections, from Langston Hughes' I Loved My Friend and Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken to Sherman Alexie's Indian Education and Julia Alvarez's How I Learned to Sweep, and the spacious, inviting design will encourage teens to dip in, browse, and then linger. Another draw is the accompanying audio CD, on which many poets read their own work. Kids will recognize the familiar scenes in many poems, such as the torture of bra shopping for the first time and the fun of browsing in a used book store. Just as compelling are the selections by Shakespeare, Rilke, Dickinson, Whitman, and other classic poets. This makes a strong companion to poetry collections for youth compiled by Ruth Gordon, Paul Janeczko, and Naomi Shihab Nye.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This addition to the Poetry Speaks series aims at middle-grade readers with more than 100 strikingly diverse poems by writers including Poe, Frost, Nikki Giovanni, and Sandra Cisneros. The works are slotted together in mindful thematic order, beside occasional spot art. In Rosellen Brown's untitled poem, she reflects, "Nothing. They are for nothing, friends,/ I think. All they do in the end-they touch you. They fill you like music." Just opposite, is Langston Hughes's "I Loved My Friend": "I loved my friend./ He went away from me./ There's nothing more to say./ The poem ends,/ Soft as it began-I loved my friend." Pairing a contemporary poem like Toi Derricotte's "Fears of the Eighth Grade" alongside Keats's "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be," results in a refreshing lack of literary hierarchy that enables disparate works to build and reflect upon one another. An accompanying CD features recordings of 44 of the poems, and blank lined pages at the end allow readers to integrate their voices into the chorus. A sound and rewarding introduction to the joys of poetry. Ages 9-12. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-This extraordinary collection is alive with pathos, sensitivity, humor, beauty, controversy, and insight. The more than 100 poems are by prize-winning authors and relative newcomers. Familiar classics and contemporary selections sing out with profound ideas and simple truths. To define "who I am," there are selections about racial and ethnic identity; about ordinary and lofty ideas; about love, friendship, and family connections. They exhibit compassion, confusion, and anger. The poems are at once personal and universal, each told in a voice that speaks candidly to the target audience. The accompanying CD includes readings by many of the poets, and some of them describe the inspiration for their work, creating an intriguing perspective and connection to the piece. Blank pages at the end of the book invite readers to compose selections of their own. The variety of poems could easily hook youngsters on the genre as a comforting, accessible art form. This special book will enrich poetry sections.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



From the Introduction:

This is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, or for required memorization and recitation. It's made just for you.

When I was younger, I wish I had possessed an anthology like this one-a compilation that brings poetry to life through words and recordings. In grammar school, I memorized the poems I discovered in a favorite poetry anthology my parents had given me. In high school, after my British Literature teacher introduced me to the work of William Butler Yeats, I began to understand how to write a poem. But in middle school there were no poetry anthologies compiled just for students and poetry was not taught in class. So I gravitated toward poets of the past and read William Shakespeare's love sonnets, trying to imitate them. I had no idea that poets were alive and writing. This anthology attempts to fill that void by offering poems about subjects that might express what's on your mind.

Youth inspires poets. So when we asked poets to send poems either that were important to them at your age or that they'd written about being your age, we received hundreds of submissions. Many writers try to capture those moments you may be thinking about now as you step into a new world.

We strived to create an anthology where you can discover poems about the changes taking place in your life. We offer first kiss poems like "Zodiac" or "The Skokie Theatre." If you've ever stood in the outfield, waiting to catch a fly ball, check out "Baseball." There are some Bar Mitzvah poems called "33" and "49." Poems about changing bodies such as "Bra Shopping." Poems about the times you think you hate your mother as in "The Adversary" and poems about loving her such as "Dear Mama (4)." Poems about loneliness like Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night." We even have a "Vampire Serenade." There are poems about navigating the turbulence of friendship like "Caroline" or the riptides of your parents' marriage as in "Mediation." We have paired classic poems with contemporary poems, from John Keats to Toi Derricotte, so you can read how poets throughout the ages have mulled over the same subjects.

Some poems will help you catch your breath, others will let you slowly exhale. Many of the poets traveled to studios to record their poems for Poetry Speaks Who I Am. When you listen to the CD, you will hear the immediacy of their words and the nuance of expression, and you will be able to hear and perhaps understand the poem from the poet's perspective.

In seventh grade, my friends and I would get together at each other's houses, listening for long afternoons to our favorite records. Older siblings introduced us to Carly Simon, James Taylor, Carole King, and we would sit and talk and sometimes just sit and listen to the songs, memorizing each one, playing them over and over in our minds. Let's hope that these poem recordings touch that same nerve for you and that they hold the same power that music did. Throughout my life, whenever I read a book I often scribble down a draft of a poem in the back pages. In Poetry Speaks Who I Am, you will find pages at the end where you can write down your own thoughts. Maybe some of the poems in this anthology will stir you to write some poems of your own.

We hope you will find inspiring company with these poems and with these poets. As the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes: "Live a while in these books..." So live a while with these poems.
-Elise Paschen

Excerpted from Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else by Elise Paschen, Dominique Raccah All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Jason ShinderJoy HarjoMaya AngelouRon KoertgeDana GioiaEdgar Allan PoeSiegfried SassoonAllison JosephRosellen BrownLangston HughesRebecca LaurenParneshia JonesAnnie FinchNikki GrimesN Scott MomadaySherman AlexieElizabeth BishopArthur SzeSonia SanchezMolly PeacockLaura JensenWaring CuneyLucille CliftonElizabeth AlexanderJulia AlvarezWilliam ShakespeareBilly CollinsBrad LeithauserDavid YezziElizabeth AlexanderEdward HirschWendy CopeMyra Cohn LivingstonJune JordanSylvia PlathAlan DuganKevin PruferMarilyn NelsonGwendolyn BrooksCathy SongRita DoveCarl SandburgLangston HughesLangston HughesSeamus HeaneyElizabeth BishopElizabeth SpiresJoy HarjoRainy OrtizWanda ColemanBrad SachsSharon OldsCalvin ForbesToi DerricotteJohn KeatsVernon ScannellGalway KinnellMark StrandDavid IgnatowEmily DickinsonEmily DickinsonJohn FullerPercy Bysshe ShelleyStephen DunnRobert FrostSamuel MenasheX J KennedyPaul MuldoonA E HousmanWalt WhitmanStephen CraneEdgar Allan PoeSherman AlexieKenneth KochBilly CollinsMidge GoldbergWilliam Jay SmithBrad LeithauserNaomi Shihab NyeOgden NashBill ZavatskyMary Jo SalterMarilyn NelsonX J KennedyMarilyn ChinKay RyanKim StaffordLouise GlÃâÂ1/4ck
A Note from the Publisherp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Poem titles/authors
Eternityp. 1
Perhaps the World Ends Herep. 2
Still I Risep. 4
Cinderella's Diaryp. 6
Vampire's Serenadep. 7
Alonep. 8
Alonep. 9
Carolinep. 10
"What are friends for...?p. 12
I Loved My Friendp. 13
In the Fifth-Grade Locker Roomp. 14
Bra Shoppingp. 16
Blood Charmp. 18
Pausep. 19
The Delight Song of Tsoai-taleep. 20
Indian Educationp. 21
One Artp. 22
Herep. 23
Haikup. 24
Good Girlp. 25
Bad Boatsp. 26
No Imagesp. 27
won't you celebrate with mep. 28
What I'm telling youp. 29
How I Learned to Sweepp. 30
Sonnet 130p. 32
Litanyp. 33
A Teenage Couplep. 35
Free Periodp. 36
Zodiacp. 38
The Skokie Theatrep. 39
Valentinep. 41
An Angry Valentinep. 42
What Great Grief Has Made the Empress Mutep. 43
Mad Girl's Love Songp. 45
How We Heard the Namep. 46
The Gladiatorp. 47
Worthp. 48
I Am A Blackp. 49
Lost Sisterp. 51
Flash Cardsp. 54
Arithmeticp. 55
Dream Variationsp. 56
Dreamsp. 57
Blackberry-pickingp. 58
Mannersp. 59
Mascarap. 61
from For a Girl Becomingp. 62
Every Day It Is Always Therep. 64
Dear Mama (4)p. 65
A Boy in a Bed in the Darkp. 67
The Talkp. 68
A Small Poemp. 69
Fears of the Eighth Gradep. 70
When I have fears that I may cease to bep. 71
Death of a Snowmanp. 72
Oatmealp. 73
Eating Poetryp. 75
The Bagelp. 76
Hope Is the Thing with Feathersp. 77
If I Can Stop One Heart from Breakingp. 78
The Duke's castlep. 79
Ozymandiasp. 80
The Sacredp. 81
The Road Not Takenp. 82
Prowessp. 83
What We Might Be, What We Arep. 84
Sidemanp. 85
XVIII Oh, when I was in love with youp. 87
Sometimes with One I Lovep. 88
In the Desertp. 89
Annabel Leep. 90
The Summer of Black Widowsp. 92
Permanentlyp. 94
A Dog on His Masterp. 95
Mowingp. 96
Sealp. 97
Seahorsesp. 98
So Farp. 101
The Germp. 102
Baseballp. 103
Poetry Slalomp. 106
How I Discovered Poetryp. 107
Used Book Shopp. 108
The Survivorp. 110
New Clothesp. 111
Mediationp. 112
A Fablep. 11