Its a Jungle Out There: Animal Poems for Adult Children : Animal Poems for Adult Children
It makes sense to me now that a poem that thinks about the tensions between the world outside us and the strange ones inside us would begin in an image of gesture and atmosphere. The way words are companions to each other. The way the word is companion to the mind. The way context infuses. Language as simultaneously remedy and refusal. I thought love had failed me.
Probably I had failed love. I was, as they say, going through a hard time. In attempt to restore myself, recreate myself, I looked to the poetry of the Elizabethans. Because isn't art supposed to assuage the crushing pain of existence? It did not help. Being in an aftermath is difficult.
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One wants to argue with it. One wants to make it into an order. Being inside it is also difficult. One might be able to organize it but is there another way? One wants to bring something up. One wants to change it. One wants to exist. One wants to do one thing. To "rise above it. My poems can't seem to be rid of either one, even though I'm neither.
I imposed all that came after onto this. The narrative accompaniment originally written to appear here bore no actual relationship to the poem's inception. The futility, the wherelessness, the overarching visuospatial dysgnosia of the poem, in conjunction with the task of tethering its construction to a particular temporal episode, convinced me that it had been written in the aftermath or in the midst of a series of traumas from which it took me nearly four years to emerge. One of the interesting things about the poem--to me, anyway--is that it was semi-planned.
I love the mysterious causality that such statements can imply. A book a friend gave me for Christmas. The poems are largely about love, and destroying the past experiences of love in order to arrive at a clean slate and a new hope to embrace love. Dorner, unable to find justice for what he saw as his unfair dismissal from the force for filing an allegedly false report accusing another officer of brutality, had taken up arms against his erstwhile comrades and their kin.
Walter Benjamin's unfinished work — an assemblage of aphoristic observations and quotations — would irrevocably shape my writing and thought. How do we approach the seemingly unspeakable through language? As a writer, there are things that are easier for me to write about, and feelings or experiences that are so difficult to articulate that they become long stretches of silence. I didn't think prank at first. I didn't really think anything beyond the image—a baby grand piano resting on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay.
Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Harrington said it wasn't a prank. He said it was "more of a movement. I thought of being fearless and reckless and so full of ideas. Translating these poems is an act of archaeology. I work with co-translators, unearthing with raw strikes of the shovel until I can see the lines of the poem and switch to gentle brushes. When I first saw the shape of this poem, the shape of its idea, my mind began to echo with its nothingness. Troy, Michig an is a collection of sonnets inspired by the city map of my hometown—I wanted to represent the rectangle shapes repeated throughout of the city plan.
I chose the sonnet form because younger writers often use it when they attempt to become a poet. Even though I no longer qualify as a younger poet, this book was also about bringing to life a version of myself from the past to try to make sense of the landscape that had shaped my understanding of both safety and danger. All of the poems posit and argue the main questions in the piece, i. The main "drama" is the dialogue—between what we call the humanities and what we call science, and the inconclusive answers provided from both disciplines.
I started writing this poem on a Columbus Day. At the time, I was working for the federal government as a contractor. I had the day off because Columbus Day is a federal holiday and our building was closed, but I didn't get paid because the contractor did not recognize that holiday. It's a screwed up situation. In "The Trees at Lystra," the opening story in his collection, Eclogues , Davenport recasts from a Greek adolescent's perspective the New Testament story in the Book of Acts in which Paul and his companion come portentously to the lively village to inveigh against polytheism and are mistaken ironically for Zeus and Hermes.
The poem is what I call a "transliteration" —a meaningful sound-alike—of William Blake's classic poem, "The Tyger. Many of them are also transliterations, or are other kinds of odd translations. Aside from this poem having the most boring title ever, I've grown increasingly fond of this quiet, formally simple poem after sharing it aloud at recent poetry readings. As it took shape, I was seeking some kind of employment; teaching jobs were impossible to come by and I eventually took a position as an administrator for a financial services company on Water Street, very close to the bottommost point on the island of Manhattan.
I had a small portrait of T. Eliot smoking a cigarette on my desk, framed in mauve, taken when he was with Lloyds Bank and doing the most important writing of his life. A lot of the brokers thought this 80 year old photograph was actually me, or my father. I don't think that I will ever get over the feeling of looking out the window of a flying airplane. It isn't so much that it's shocking—which of course it is, if you think about it. Part ant colony, part lit-up window of a stranger's house, the earth, arrayed and displayed 30, feet below, scintillates.
It rivets. It also examines the absurdity of our daily lives, the excitement that we can reap from the weirdest cultural prizes Three strikes! After my previous books, featuring poems that included everything even one kitchen sink , I'd been trying to write shorter, slightly more focused if still meditative, poems. However, what I'd come up with—poems I thought of as "single-gestured," most of which were under fifteen lines long—seemed too tidy, at best, and in any case unsatisfying.
Liu Xia b. She worked as an editor and then a civil servant for the Beijing tax bureau until she quit the job in Liu Xia started writing poetry in and has continued to this day. She met Liu Xiaobo in the s at a literary gathering and married him when he was imprisoned in so that she could visit him in prison legally as she explained. He was detained without trial from May to February , then sentenced to three-year imprisonment from October to October , and finally given an eleven-year term in December Liu Xia herself has been under house arrest since Probably "Single page drawing" began in , when an acquaintance introduced me to Cy Twombly's paintings and prints.
Not that I began writing the poem then. I began to draft this poem when I lived in New York, after one of many times someone stopped me and asked for directions. The draft began as a conversation between me and an "offstage" character. Almost a monologue, but not quite. What drove me to the page is that I felt helplessly pleasant when asked for assistance. The sensation was awful on some level.
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I look like a nice, unthreatening person. And I am. Yet something about that is slightly intolerable. I kept writing to try to understand why. It has to do with power—power is at play in this poem. I am far from being a power-hungry person, but where is the line between helpfulness and manipulation?
That question seemed the burning center of the writing. At the same time I learned gray foxes sleep in trees, in dens as much as 30 feet from the ground. Motherhood created an urgent narrative situation in me: I had to write about my life. I wrote fast—it felt fast—and under the ardent sign of motherhood I chased subjects I'd glossed or abstracted or left out of previous poems. My sentence was the sizzling rope connected to the stick of dynamite under the door in a cartoon—out of time, out of time.
My dad is not a poetry reader. He reads nonfiction mostly. He's a Timothy Egan and Malcolm Gladwell fan, to name two. When I was an adolescent, I wanted to become a ballerina. I practiced with more dedication than I knew I possessed. Some nights I dream I can still dance the way I could at my best. I did "come upon the body of a whale" on a trip to Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island in the middle of winter. There is nothing I love more than an island in winter. It is the only time you can have a whole beach to yourself. To me it is heaven. I grew up on an island, so perhaps that is why I feel so strongly about this.
I got obsessed with China. I used to live in Beijing, population 21 million. When I arrived I didn't speak Chinese, didn't understand it, and the city was alarmingly, indigestibly verbal. If not for a small group of expats who welcomed me into their world and gave me some sense of regularity I wouldn't have lasted long. I work at a big state university: cement parking structures, orange construction mesh, scuffed stairwells that lead to halls where the clocks tell different times.
Near campus there's a bubble tea place run by a friendly Asian couple. One day someone taped a piece of college-ruled paper to the wall with the question, "How Do You Feel? When I think of this poem, I think of Math. I wrote this poem after reading it. I wrote "[taking away taking everything away]" in response to an assignment I gave my graduate students at NYU. I was teaching a course I called "Terms of Engagement. The first mode we considered was ekphrastic. It is used in Japan to refer to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I began this series of poems later into my writing of this collection, which centers around J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb. A translation, whatever else it might be, is an attempt to recreate an experience. The tricky question is, whose experience? Do you try to make Rilke sound slightly archaic to reproduce the experience that a modern German might have of the original, or do you try to find an equivalent for the experience that a German-speaking contemporary of Rilke might have had?
I wrote "The Descent of Man" after a long layoff from writing—or, to be more accurate, from trying to write, which is largely what I do. Poems written after a long layoff in my case usually turn out baroque, or more baroque than ones that are the result of working habitually. Not writing can be writing, too, but if it isn't the internal pressure that builds up in a real layoff, the fancy ideas that come from reading too much, and the overreaching resulting from all the built-up energies spilling over can create artifacts that are supersaturated, conceptually overdetermined.
Our primary aim was to create translations that sound like his poems—that bring his music into harmony with the 21st century. My childhood was built atop an apple orchard. Or rather, my childhood home was constructed on what used to be a former orchard. A single crab apple tree in our backyard remains. My friend Katie and I both of us six years old were digging in the backyard when we discovered a buried trash heap that must have been quite old. I wrote the first draft of this poem in a third floor studio apartment in Mexico City.
An aging architect owned the building, and his office stood adjacent to the three-story home, an office comprised of glass. His own Philip Johnson's glass house. In the summer of , when I wrote this poem, I had moved across the country to Western Massachusetts for poetry school. My friend was at work when a visitor to the building began to cough up blood. We recognize these poems and we feel bad. We have been reading these poems since the Bible. It has gotten a little ridiculous, lately, with poems that use amputation as metaphor for Fragmentation or the Dead Father or Pick-Your-Sadness.
At readings, I usually introduce this poem as 'my love letter to New York City. I think both represent the broad catalogue of emotions one can tangle with during a simple stroll in New York City on any given afternoon. My mother died on Easter morning of when I was years-old. I spent the summer in Omaha, Nebraska cleaning out our family's house, which felt like closing a wound that kept reopening.
Many nights I'd end up sitting on a closet floor reading her books, trying on her jewelry, or just living in the smell her clothes. Ultimately, I ended up donating almost everything. Born in Mexico City in , Santiago came of age during a period of acute political repression, artistic censorship, and violations of academic autonomy that culminated in the Tlatelolco Massacre, in which hundreds of student protesters and bystanders were killed and injured, and over a thousand were arrested. The literary society Santiago encountered when he began writing poems in was stultifying and conservative.
They appear this way because they are all a part of a quasi-linear thought process, or thought movement, with a focused concern on physical and emotional orientation, the way the body and mind moves through the world and how it relates or doesn't to its surrounding. We're in my parents' living room, the day after my poetry reading at the University of Cincinnati. The same poem can serve several purposes. At my most single-minded, I began to understand this, against my will, in the years after my mother left the earth on May 22 nd , For a time and I'm not sure whether this time has actually ended, or will ever end everything that felt like poetry also naturally resembled mourning.
We Got Tired. Written long hand in a Xanax-and-alcohol stupor on a plane that seemed to be slowly crashing toward Memphis. Lawrence Giffin. This poem began with its title, which emerged for me in the last few moments of a dream. The whole sentence surfaced at once, like a seashell revealed at low tide. My dream, as I remember, was an anxious one. I had to assemble an object composed of tiny, elaborate parts—screws and gaskets, a loose pile of flat washers that, maliciously, began to disappear when I grasped them.
Had you driven over the bridge that night, you would not have seen the body in the bed. You would have seen the lighthouse. You may have seen the beacon flash. You may have, because it was late, seen the lighthouse as more of a shadow than a white, peaked structure. It would have been surrounded by snow. Like Auden, I believe a poem should be more interesting than anything that might be said about it.
His skill in the ring and personality out of it were so outsized that almost anything he claimed seemed possible. When he said he hoboed from Galveston to New York City alone at age 12, everyone believed him. When he said he fought a foot shark with nothing but his fists, no one questioned it. The nuts that make up this poem were what I wrote on postcards to my friend the poet Genine Lentine.
For a few years, I've been writing poems in which I use the natural environment as a force field and I try to receive frequencies, intuitions, from natural beauty to fuel and form a poem, in the same way radio waves and microwaves and light waves in the atmosphere carry content and meaning. He lives in Los Angeles and invited me to join him and a group of his friends, most of whom I didn't know, to celebrate his birthday.
Comedians do more than make us laugh; they woo crowds into the world of a joke. With facial tics and anaphora and alligator shoes, they often sit us down in neighborhoods we distrust or are not privy to. They make us feel safe, activate the car alarm then crowbar the window for the knock off satchel sunning in the passenger seat. Without any money, lonely and out of my depth, whatever that could have been, I spent most of my time digging around for books of poetry to read in the dark innards of Columbia University's Butler Library.
I'd studied Spanish in high school, and was on the prowl. He composed this poem and recited it to Kharms in January This poem is one of the oldest in the collection I wrote it seven years ago. I included it because I thought it set up some of the book's concerns, and as such, it feels like the grandparent to others. Inception: I found myself writing "The Contagious Knives" in a fury of contagion; a corrosive tide of rage and frustration at the state of the world, its steady state of exploitation, coercion, misery, metals, charisma. Everything comes out in the river, as Steve Jobs, now dead, said at TED: first time as industrial waste, second time as carcinogen.
This is why the language of this play as in life! As a poet I've become increasingly interested in sound: how it works on the surface of a poem to disturb the image reservoirs below it, how morphemes and phonemes carry semantics, how slight disruptions in each bend meaning, in clang association and oneirologic.
I've become more and more involved in music, blues in particular, over the past several years, so I think that informs my poetry. When I was in high school men started hitting on me and I wasn't sure what to do. Most of my life I'd been trying to be a less assertive presence in the world the general opinion of my elders and peers was that I needed to exercise humility, be less bossy, be less of a know-it-all, start fewer fights.
It has no epigraph, but if it did, it would have one of the following:. Some research recently revealed that it is not too much information that is stressful or overwhelming, it's too much information that seems to be meaningful. For example a walk in the woods is full of enormous input: animal sounds, plant and dirt smells, textures, air moving, piles upon piles of elaborate visual details, and yet a walk in the woods is considered relaxing.
It is the only poem that uses the sentence as unit of composition, hence its title—so, in that way it certainly works within a different cadence, a different logic from the other poems. The poem also marks a shift in the book—away from the dreamy renderings of place in the sequence that it concludes and into the more concrete spatiality of the Kansas plains. The truth is I had gotten obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Why are these considered girls' books? People are building log cabins! They're digging wells! They're getting chased by panthers and dying of starvation and eating the curliest part of the pig, the tail!
They're sucking horehound, the most lawless candy! Territories are declaring statehood. People are waking up in the Dakotas at last. I don't remember exactly how I wrote this poem. I remember that it occurred quickly and required only a little revision. It is my personal favorite poem in a collection I wrote called Hider Roser , but I'm not sure why. I like reading it aloud and always include it in my set list when reading to an audience. Belgium, Flanders, Benelux, Low Country—so many words associated with this tiny and stunningly gifted land.
It speaks Dutch, French, German, and its own dialects. Dutch is not my mother tongue, but it is my mother's tongue. Though my brother and I were not raised bilingually, we've heard it all our lives. The sound of the language first and always precedes its meanings to me Frost's "the sound of sense". In the past two years, I have been studying a small group of Dutch poets and writers, mostly reading them aloud. It's not a proper study, and the list is eclectic, guided by other people's bookshelves.
I'm disappointed when writers, in discussing their work, interpret it for their readership. This seems a violation of the literary contract between author and reader. That in mind, here I'll lay bare the ideas that undergird "Violet for Your Furs" without doing you the disservice of deciphering individual images. Cataloguing these ideas will require some name-dropping. Bear with and forgive me. This line poem is a work of immense cultural significance and beauty.
When I was finishing up my book, my editor suggested I write a few new poems for the final section, poems that would perhaps move closer toward the idea of hope that sits in the book's title. This is one of three poems I wrote in that frenzied couple of weeks I've never written so quickly in my life!
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When I was young, the penis crop was plentiful. Every year, a bountiful harvest. Then came hot flashes, mood swings, sleeplessness, and a long—very long—penis famine. Thus the first two sentences, which floated into my head one day. I remember being immediately pleased with my simile. Sebald for Vertigo , so that intellectual inquiry and creative inquiry inform one another, so that I find myself in the magnetic field of someone else's range and diction, so that I am moved out beyond mere self-reflection.
I should say, first, that this "The landscape" poem is one of a series of eight all titled "The landscape. I began work on "The Maud Poems" several years before my mother died. She was an older mother for the time, she'd grown up in Topeka, Kansas, after the first world war; her father had left, her mother Olive ran a boarding house, and her uncle Meldrum owned a funeral parlor. This earlier version of the poem had the same basic stanzaic shape, action, and deployment of images as "Mappa Mundi" does now but its tempo and temperament were much different: the imagination was less musical and there was far less torque between what was being seen, felt and spoken.
This poem originally stood on its own under the title "Collapse. I was intent on writing seriously about death. The Iraq war was just beginning and was very much on my mind. I was thinking about my own lack of power and courage in that context. It's funny how poems tend to get generated in my mind. They never begin with what, in my teaching days, students called "ideas. This can be the sound, say, of a certain woodpecker on a very still spring morning; a snatch from an old Monk tune; or, as in this case, a small chunk of conversation that has lodged itself in mind, whether or not I knew it had.
The map is channeled by other people's voices. Once you have the map you get to keep it, but only if you share it with others. When I was younger I was really into horror movies. I found it at this local hole in the wall video store Video Village , long since closed where tapes were fifty cents to rent for five days. Mostly, for me, writing is a feral act. Xi Chuan pronounced Sshee Chwahn, not to be confused with Sichuan, the province , one of contemporary China's most celebrated poets, was born in Jiangsu in with the name Liu Jun, which means "army," reflecting the ethos of the era.
I also actually did have a vase of flowers before me when I wrote the first draft, and I couldn't tell if the flowers were dead or alive—but there they were, nonetheless, upright. Now approaching ninety, Yves Bonnefoy is often acclaimed as France's greatest contemporary author. For a number of years—and I suppose still—I've felt somewhat helplessly concerned with the figure of the Greek Chorus. I almost never write a poem with a sense of what it will be about. I don't use preexisting forms traditional or otherwise , writing exercises, or poetic formal devices to generate material.
At this point in my writing life, I do tend to think about a whole manuscript while I'm composing individual poems, so I might begin a poem in relation to a manuscript with the thought that it should be a longer poem, or a shorter one, or perhaps lighter in tone, or maybe more fierce. But overall, I prefer to keep the parameters loose. The world of this poem grew from a simple wish to play on the word "felt.
Also, at the time I wrote the poem, I was very interested in Joseph Beuys's work and was learning about his symbolic interest in materials like felt and wax. My husband was teaching law, and I was tending to our two young sons. My first-grader was in the American school, which abuts the university campus; I was able to see a fragment of it from my balcony.
The idea was we'd each write a poem every day for a month, and we'd take turns giving writing prompts. To say that I wrote it is less an offense than to say I translated it. Though it has everything to do with its correspondent text, the purpose of writing through "Zone" was not to reproduce it but to create an original work—the only real impediments put on the piece being its influences, which are many.
As a child, I remember painting in the art room, my favorite room at my elementary school. When my son went to kindergarten and we were given a tour of the art room all those memories of art class came forth. I was both compelled and terrified. What would I produce? This poem was written over the course of several months, during which fear vied with hope and the idea of "trying" anything at all became almost laughably fraught. The poem became, in a sense, a meditation on effort, in which the suspension of effort was the aim of my efforts.
This is the first poem in Mean Free Path. I wanted the dedication to be integral to the book, not something set apart on a prefatory page. Because the poems are largely concerned with the possibility of writing and being for , with finding a mode of address capable of something other than ironic detachment or expressing prefabricated structures of feeling, it seemed like cheating to have a prose dedication external to the poems and their pressures resolving all of these issues as if by fiat. In the summer of the year , the Author, then in ill health, had retired to Berlin, where, in consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Grammar, Gesture, and Meaning in American Sign Language: "Fauconnier and Turner argue that conceptualizing a situation in which the single monk becomes two monks, and then meets himself as the two of him walk in opposite directions involves a blending of mental spaces.
It comes out of a trip I took in the summer of when I went to Lebanon and Syria to do some journalism about Palestinian refugee camps, and the aftermath of the Lebanese Israeli War. I arrived just at the moment that the worst internal violence since the Lebanese War broke out. This poem was one of 32 "recipes" commissioned from various writers by the visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra the project was published in the June issue of Esopus magazine. There was a small neighborhood park in Carroll Gardens where I would sit almost every day after the weather turned warm. I came to love this place.
This poem is a direct response to the introduction of Coleridge's "Xanadu-Kubla Khan" in which he explains thata most unwelcome visitor from Porlock disturbed his "anodyne" vision and ruined his inspiration for his poem. I was always fascinated with this poem: who was this friend? What business was Coleridge called to? How did I come to write this poem? Well the oddest thing started me off. A friend told me that when she was in Chennai in the summer she had trouble with her computer.
It wouldn't work. I had never heard of such a thing before but later, asking around I did hear similar stories from others. In any case what my friend told me stayed in my head. Obviously I didn't make it! But focusing on the cup let me channel the narrative drive of the poem. Originally it was only about how the cup smashed, the pieces of the event all squashed into 14 lines. I wrote "Lunaria" almost by accident, while working on another poem, which was about Judas and was not going well. Everyone knew Jesus had to die, including Jesus himself.
My Judas was like a character in a novel, who appears to be free, although in reality the writer controls him completely, only the Judas of my poem had the consciousness of a real person, and was completely bewildered to find himself standing on the street with that bag of money in his hand. Actually, I have alternatives! My poem grew out of my thinking about a new dishwashing soap that I had discovered in a supermarket, a nicely colored liquid in a curvy bottle with an unusually abstract name—Method—which I associated with Descartes' Discourse on Method.
The book, as well as this poem particularly, tracks a continuum along what traditionally you might style transcendence and what we've today come to call celebrity culture. This poem arose from a coincidence: the phonetic and visual but not, as far as I can tell, etymological sameness between the word for a small dun-colored game bird and the verb, often used in reference to the heart, that means to wither or falter or give way to decline. I wrote this poem as part of a collaboration I did in spring of with the painter Chris Uphues.
Chris and I met at a bar after a reading I had given, and he told me he was a painter. I had a feeling he would be good. He sent me photos of ten paintings via email and I was blown away by his work, so I took his titles and wrote ten corresponding poems.
It is something to be believed only by those who wish to believe. Yet the conventional wisdom must be tackled on its own terrain. Intemporal comparisons of an individual's state of mind do rest on technically vulnerable ground. Who can say for sure that the deprivation which afflicts him with hunger is more painful than the deprivation which afflicts him with envy of his neighbor's new car? In the time that has passed since he was poor, his soul may have become subject to a new and deeper searing. In Their Own Words.
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Four Quartets Prize. Chapbook Fellowships. Store Chapbooks. Poetry in Motion. Broadsides Etc. Award Sponsorship. Features In Their Own Words. Diannely Antigua on "Something Dies in Me Every Month" I often think about breath, or rather the moments that seemingly take away my ability to do what my body does naturally without conscious effort—a kiss, a car accident, a panic attack—my breath compromised for a duration of time, the raspy effort to regain what was lost.
Jaswinder Bolina on "Pornograph, with Americana" I wanted to get the words into my poem that nobody else would think to put into their poems. Ed Bok Lee on "The Desert vs. Adrienne Su on Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan Claire could not have intended the resonance with the context in which this chapbook appears. My mother's alcoholism underwrote a great deal of the writing in my first books Read Article. Claire Wahmanholm on "Advent" I wrote this poem on inauguration day —about a month after the actual Advent season. Bridget Talone on "Emotional Lady" I was able to find the energy of "Emotional Lady" through a collage-like process of ordering and reordering different fragments of language and seeing how they interacted and moved as a whole.
Tishani Doshi on "A Fable for the 21st Century" I'd been thinking about the idea of knowledge versus information for some years. I sat alone in the kitchen while my wife was at work Read Article. Jeffrey Yang on "Circle" Although camels originated in the New World millions of years ago, they eventually evolved, diverged, disappeared, and moved on to the Old World where they multiplied. Hey, Marfa Graywolf, Lifetime readers become lifetime learners.
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Look here for a growing list of picture book literary agents. Guest column by Rick Walton , author of more than 90 works for kids. His works include picture books, riddle books, activity books, poetry, mini-mysteries, and more. He lives in Utah, in the Rocky Mountains, with his wife, his kids, and an assortment of dogs, cats, raccoons, deer, and unidentifiable creatures who creep into his yard and his mind at night.
See Rickcreation. Picture book language is often more sophisticated than the first chapter books that children read, and therefore an excellent way for children to learn language. It is here that children, and others, can learn vocabulary, imagery, rhythm, shape, structure, conciseness, emotional power. The picture book is the most flexible of all literary formats.
You can do almost anything in a picture book. This flexibility encourages creativity, in both writer and reader. It broadens the mind, and the imagination. The picture book, with its interaction between text and illustration, with its appeal that the reader analyze that interaction, helps develop visual intelligence. It helps us look for meaning in the visual. And since most of us are surrounded by, and inundated by visual images our whole lives, visual intelligence is an important skill. Some of the best art being created today is found in picture books. Picture books are a great resource for art education.
Buy it online at a discount. The picture book appeals to more learning styles than any other format. They are enjoyable in every subsequent reading and the longer one lives, the broader is the frame of reference one has against which to draw the stories into perspective. The Kipling stories offer a marked perspective of a reminder of human origins and history as well as animal.
The stories can be shared inter-generationally, with interpretations shared by all. For instance, if a boy is raised by wolves, then wolves are his family until the last one dies. The themes of The Jungle Book revolve around noble qualities such as loyalty, honor, courage, tradition, integrity, and persistence. These are good to discuss and ponder in any century, making the stories timeless.
My favorite Jungle Book story is of a young mahout and his elephant and the legend of the elephant dance in the middle of the forest. This is "Toomai of the Elephants.
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They know friendship and heartache and can cry. Kipling may have been the first to show that they can also dance. The young mahout, Toomai, believes the tale of the infrequent event of Elephant Dance, even when the seasoned elephant trainers try to dissuade him.