Two weeks ago, we launched our reading theme this January-February: Once Upon A Childhood: Throwback Reading and Hot For Cybils!
Aside from walking down nostalgic book lane (retro reading), we are also giving much-deserved love to CYBILS nominees/finalists/winners for 2014 and earlier. Special thanks to the beautiful Irene Latham of Live Your Poem for hosting this week.
Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons has been shortlisted for the CYBILS Poetry Award for 2014. I’ve read so many great reviews about this book over the past year, that I feel I am late for the haiku party.
I think I confessed awhile back that as enamoured as I am with poetry, I am largely unfamiliar (and undisciplined) when it comes to structure and form, regulated syllables and lines. I do appreciate though the regimented way in which beauty emerges from much lashing and whipping and scraping at the sides until only the barest essentials could be seen gleaming in stanzas and lines.
Clearly, Jon J Muth is a poet after my own heart. While he undoubtedly excels in the craft, he is also able to tear it down, creating something raw and exquisite as he taps into the very essence of what a haiku is. In the Author’s Note he explained that he eschewed the usual five-seven-five pattern commonly expected from haiku:
For me, haiku is like an instant captured in words – using sensory images. At its best, a haiku embodies a moment of emotion that reminds us that our own human nature is not separate from all of nature.
I know a lot of young avid readers who are totally turned off by poetry primarily because of its rigidity and the way that it is introduced in most classrooms: there is too much form, rhyme, meter and too little eye towards imagery, essence, spirit.
In Hi, Koo! Muth invites the reader to play along with him, to twist the lines around and just get down and dirty with them, sling mud, ruffle feathers, and stomp on windswept words as the adorable Koo ambles along a year of seasons. Here are my favourites from the book which I wanted to share with you Poetry Friday friends.
I included this one specifically because of the absolute disregard for syllabication – and the way the words are broken down across the three lines. But see that last line: “the wind’s surprise” is enough to make one gasp with beauty along with that gorgeous image of Koo.
And because I am a child of eternal summer, I see “…blinking stars/ fireflies”. See how Koo looks up at the reader looking down at him? The play in his shadows? This book is dedicated to Muth’s twins Molly and Leo – and so we can put one and two together here. 🙂
Is there anything more beautiful than that today, dear friends?
Go outside. Find an audience of sparrows. Read.
Hi, Koo! A Year Of Seasons by Jon J Muth. Published by Scholastic Press, 2014. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.