I'm borrowing the title of Dana Gioia's book of essays to ponder something. The shelves at public libraries and school libraries are overflowing with books of poetry, and I can't help wondering how many of those get read and how often.
Please don't get me wrong. I am pro-poetry. (How could a lit blogger be anything else!) But when I see the enormous supply of it at the library, I am curious. And, for that matter, why do some children (okay, mine) occasionally declare, "No poetry! No!" when you try to read them some? Is it force-fed at school? I have no idea. The Washington Post even starts a review of a new anthology with the line, "Who says kids don't like po'try?" Well, nobody, but I do sense a disconnect somewhere.
The book is designed to be read by children 6 years and older. But Elise Paschen, a poet herself and the book's editor, says it appeals to kids as young as 2. "And not only that, it really appeals to adults. I think that you can read these poems on all levels."