I'm not much of a "poetry" person. When people start discussing poems I start getting nervous. I love art and all things creative so I'm not sure exactly what the problem is. The hard cold truth is that I just don't "get" most poetry.
It especially freaks me out if some of the poem rhymes and some of it doesn't. I want to come up with new endings to the lines to either make the entire thing rhyme OR to make the entire thing NOT rhyme. I have poem issues to say the very least.
So when an altered book came to me with the theme "Illustrated Poems" I started to sweat. Because of my adversion to poetry in general , I began by focusing on the "Illustrated" portion of her theme and went to the bookshelf and pulled down Shel Silverstein. These were the poems of my childhood. These are the pages that inspired hours of painstaking doodles in attempts to re-create his goofy drawings. I spent weeks trying to get the twists on those crossed fingers that illustrate "Superstitious" just right. (A Light in the Attic, p. 48)
And then it was like magic. I started going over his poetry through the eyes of an adult. And I was shocked! They are so brilliant in simplicity yet at the same time meaningful in a way I didn't see as a kid. When you compare his books with the plastic, primary-colored world that children are surrounded by now, you've got black-and-white print in perfect balance with quirky delightful sketches.
Below is what I decided to include in the altered book, which made me think about all us creative people who sometimes might just be taking ourselves way too seriously, as well as It's Dark in Here, p.21 from Where the Sidewalk Ends. This seemed fitting for a poetry-themed book because it's a poem about writing a poem from inside of a lion. Surely a place where all brilliant writers find themselves at times!
Put Something In (Shel Silverstein)
Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.