Re-visit an Inspiring Book
Violet is hosting today. Be sure to check out more poetry links on her Comments page.
In Patricia MacLachlan’s short novel, Word After Word After Word, Ms. Mirabel inspires a 4th grade class to love words.She gives them tools to express their feelings in response to the death of a pet, a parent’s life-threatening illness and other real-life situations. The children are changed.
Here is a poem written by the character Evie:
Nothing is what you think.
A square is round
A circle is square
The earth is flat
The grass grows
The roots search for
Happy is sad.And surprise!
I’ve just re-read MacLachlan’s delightful book published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2010. Who wouldn’t want to have Ms. Mirabel for an author-in-residence? Some of us even want to BE Ms. Mirabel. And I know many Poetry Friday poets and educators are!
I’ve been asked to lead a Word After Word After Word book discussion for 4th and 5th graders. At my suggestion, the discussion will be followed with a two-session poetry workshop. I am thrilled and have begun planning which poems I will use to inspire my workshop participants.
There’s a Joan Didion quote at the beginning of the book: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."
The five students in the book proceed to do just that. Ms. Mirabel challenges them to find their own story, "or a character, a place, a poem, a moment in time. When you find it,” she says, “you will write it. Word after word after word after word."