I love concrete poetry. The combination of poetry and art speaks to me—and I love the way it gives students with differing strengths a chance to shine. Concrete poetry is the graffiti of the poetry world—its messages as much graphic as literary.
Recently I ran across a wonderful collection of concrete poems for all ages, A Poke in the I, collected by Paul Janeczko and beautifully illustrated with collages by Chris Raschka.
A Poke in the I will make you laugh and savor the “Aha!” moments when you realize how the poets have juggled language and imagery. The collages will make you smile—and then want to dig for collage materials of your own. And, of course, it is impossible to read these poems without thinking, “You know, it would be fun to try this….” So give it a try. And share the book with young people. If there ever was a poetry book perfect for a summer day, this is that book. Enjoy! And to begin, “Sawfish”