Friday, March 23, 2012

Fictional Favorites, part one

This series of posts considers What would fictional characters' favorite poets/poems be?

Mary Lee and I will kick this off today with some poetic possibilities and then over the weeks, we'll hear from a plethora of perceptive poetic bloggers. If you'd like to join in, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments or email them to me.

We'll start BIG with Hagrid from the Harry Potter series... As a man with a deep connection to animals, he might be drawn to Mario Milosevic's When I Was:

Excerpt from When I Was

When I was a bear
I filled the world.
My paws were wide,
and I walked large.
I ate all summer
and slept all winter,
dreaming of the time
when I was a dragonfly
and I wove the world...

read the rest here


What would Hobbes from the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes read? He's a bit of a romantic, so maybe he would like You Are The Wind by Olav Hauge.

You Are The Wind

I am a boat
without wind.
You were the wind.
Was that the direction I wanted to go?
Who cares about directions
with a wind like that!


Calvin seems like more of a This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams kind of a guy. Or Invitation by Shel Silverstein.


If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!


Mary Lee Hahn talked about this question with her fourth graders, and they came up with poems for the main characters from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

Mary Lee says:

Here's what my students picked for Meg because she's struggling so hard with her feelings right now (she is angry with her father for tessering away from Camazotz without taking Charles Wallace):

From Sara Holbrook's collection WEIRD? (ME, TOO!) LET'S BE FRIENDS


You are not the boss of me
and what I feel inside.
Please don't say,
"Let's see a smile,"
or tell me not to cry.

I am not too sensitive.
You think my inside's steel?
You can't tell me how to be.
Feelings make me real.


For Calvin (because he's not so good at math):


by Beverly McLoughland

Sammy's head is pounding--
Sammy's in pain--
A long division's got
Stuck in his brain--
Call for the locksmith
Call the engineer
Call for the plumber
To suck out his ear
Call the brain surgeon
To pry out the mess,
Call out the Coast Guard
Sammy's head is pounding--
Sammy's in pain--
A long division's got
Stuck in his brain.


And for Charles Wallace, because this is how he initially kept IT from taking control of his brain, these Mother Goose rhymes, taken from memory (Mary) and from TOMIE dePAOLA'S MOTHER GOOSE:

Mary had a little lamb
It's fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.


Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.


We'll continue with Fictional Favorites next Friday!

Mary Lee has our Poetry Friday round-up today.


GatheringBooks said...

Oh dearest Tabatha, you have so many of my favorites here today - from Hagrid, to Meg (tesseract oh tesseract) and of course Shel Silverstein and Calvin and Hobbes. And we haven't even begun with your poem selections. I love the entire concept of Fictional Favorites. :) Such creative minds our poetry community has. :)

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. What a juicy post. This matching of characters to poems is a such a creative idea. The bear poem reminded me of "Sword in the Stone" when Merlin turns Wart into various animals. But I also loved "You Are the Wind" -- last two lines are perfect for Hobbes.

jama said...

What fun! Another brilliant idea :). Will you be extending Fictional Favorites through April? I'm asking because I'm trying to compile a list of Kidlit blog events for Poetry Month.

natalie said...

What a fantastic idea! I imagine this was great fun for those fourth graders--and what a fabulous way to help them make connections to poetry.

Books4Learning said...

You have some fun poems. I really like SOS and Invitation. Thanks for sharing these. I love your idea to have students find a poem to match a character. I will have to remember that one.

Doraine said...

What a wonderful idea. I'll bet your students will never forget this class. You have made both book and poetry come alive for them.

David Elliott said...


This is fantastic! And yes, please feel free to use that (or any) selection from ItS. Honored, in fact. (Er . . .sorry to leave this info here, but had trouble emailing through the traditional route.)Keep up the wonderful work!


Tabatha said...

Thank you, all, for your supportive comments, and thank you, David, for your permission!