Poetry Friday: Mary Ann Hoberman's "Snow"
March 07, 2008
Long a fan of Mary Ann Hoberman's You Read to Me, I'll Read to You books, I've had fun leafing through her 1998 collection, The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems. The way she uses repetition in her work reminds me of children's speech, and yet it's sophisticated, too. One of those "I don't know how she does it" qualities. Here is "Snow," which is in The Llama Who Had No Pajama and on her website. This poem is just calling out to be memorized. Maybe I'll give it a try.
Lots of snow
Everywhere we look and everywhere we go
The Poetry Friday roundup (with 44 other participants so far!) is at The Simple and the Ordinary.
Bonus track: Chicken Spaghetti review of You Read to Me, I'll Read to You.
Oh, I really like her poetry. I could see using it with a classroom full of 5/6's - PreK kids as a read-aloud. It's informative and could transition them right into Kindergarten and First Grade poetry project type of book. What great vocabulary!
Posted by: TadMack | March 07, 2008 at 03:34 PM
I know what you mean about her ability to approximate children's speech. Looks deceptively simple, but it's not. Love her work! Thanks.
Posted by: jama | March 07, 2008 at 03:49 PM
I agree. She has such a great grasp of rhythm, and how to convey things beyond just the words, that the words almost become secondary. Most poets go the other way, calling lots of attention to their unusual words choices. I love how she makes you see the snow spreading out forever, blanketing everything at the end. So good.
Posted by: Sara | March 07, 2008 at 04:04 PM
Somehow that collection hasn't circulated in my library since December 2006! For shame! I must make a child take it home.
Posted by: adrienne | March 07, 2008 at 05:02 PM
Hey, y'all! Thanks for dropping by. I am LOVING that book! It's another one I think I'm going to have to buy. Poetry Friday is burning holes in my pockets; I first heard of the book from Elaine at Wild Rose Reader. The poetry in The Llama is just so rewarding to read. Jr. has been reading Ripley's Believe It or Not, so I haven't yet read any of these poems to him. But he knows "the rabbit bit a little bit" one from Poetry Speaks to Children.
TadMack, yes, those are the ages I was thinking of, too.
Jama and Sara, I would not be at all surprised to hear that the poet is good at math, because there's something in the architecture of the poems that's really strong. I can't even explain it exactly.
Adrienne, oh, yes, do put this book in someone's hands. It's wonderful! And a great read-aloud--little bits at a time--for the 4s and 5s. There's still plenty for older children, too.
Posted by: Susan T. | March 07, 2008 at 07:25 PM
I hope we are done with snow around here until next year. But I still like this poem! Thanks
Posted by: cloudscome | March 08, 2008 at 08:26 AM
Me, too, about the snow, Cloudscome! But I'll believe it when I see it.
Posted by: Susan T. | March 08, 2008 at 08:32 AM
Pretty appropriate poem for us today -- it continues to fall thick and furious. The newscasters are calling it The Blizzard of Oh-Eight. I'm calling it Stuck Inside With Nothing Better To Do Than Catching Up On Blogging And Reading. (And I'm not just a little proud of myself for staying at school last night and getting my report cards done, done, DONE!)
Posted by: Mary Lee | March 08, 2008 at 09:02 AM
Awesome on the finished report cards. What a relief!
A blizzard? Sheesh. We're expecting tons of rain. Bleck.
Posted by: Susan T. | March 08, 2008 at 09:54 AM
Very sneaky, calling yourself NotaPoet. I loved, loved, loved your reply poem to my post.
Posted by: Sara | March 08, 2008 at 09:56 PM
I'm so happy THE LLAMA WHO HAD NO PAJAMA is back in print. I love Mary Ann Hoberman's poetry. She is a true master of writing rhythmic, rhymed poetry for children. My students really enjoyed reading--and sometimes memorizing--her poems.
Posted by: Elaine Magliaro | March 09, 2008 at 09:07 AM
Elaine, thank you so much for recommending this book ages ago. I've seen a paperback edition of THE LLAMA WHO HAD NO PAJAMA online, but is a new hardcover available? If so, yay! Junior liked hearing some of the poems yesterday, and asked me to read a couple of them twice.
Sara, that was a great poem your wrote! I am looking for that dadblasted Spring, too. You inspired everyone to do some creative writing!
Posted by: Susan T. | March 09, 2008 at 09:33 AM
I think the book is only available in paperback now.
Posted by: Elaine Magliaro | March 09, 2008 at 10:25 AM