Book Review: A Pocketful of Poems

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I love it when Nikki Grimes shows the reader different types of poetry — She’s a master at placing words to catch your interest and attention. Pocketful of Poems (2001) features haiku. The narrator, Tiana, celebrates the seasons with words she finds in her pocket. Spring, pigeon, homer (reminds me to cheer for my baseball team), pumpkin (which reminds me of my favorite season), and gift are just some of the words Tiana invites you to use to create your own haiku poems. Exploring Javaka Steptoe’s textures and creative placement of color and objects on the page make this book even more fun to read over and over. The hand-sculpted gilded alphabet makes me want some letters for my own pocket. Celebrate the seasons with Tiana, and maybe even write something yourself.

Poetry Friday: (Golden Shovel) “Dreams”

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I continue to pour over the poems in Nikki Grimes’ book, One Last Word. Ms. Grimes is an amazing poet and the “Golden Shovel” poetry is exquisite. This form of poetry is most difficult to create! A Golden Shovel poem takes a line from an existing poem and transfers each word from that line (called the “striking line”) to your own poem, as the last words in each line of your new creation.

I used “I Leave the Glory Days” by Nikki Grimes as my mentor text. The line I pulled was “The past is a ladder that can help you keep climbing.” Here’s my poem:

Dreams

When I’m stuck, I reach for the

lessons from my past.

I want to live my dreams, but it is

so difficult! Longing for a

new adventure, I climb the ladder

of hope that

someday I can

find the right people to help

me succeed. I’d take you with me, but you

don’t have the same dreams as me. Keep

on your own path. I must keep climbing.