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[Poetry Friday] In Search Of Poetry’s Meaning in “Daniel Finds A Poem”

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am happy to be joining the Poetry Friday community again, hosted this week by Mary Lee at A Year Of Reading. I did mention that we are exploring restlessness and refuge in literature until end of August.


This young boy’s search for poetry’s meaning, I thought, would still somewhat fit into our theme as he tries to explore the world that he knows to find the answer to his question.


Daniel Finds A Poem

Poetry and Art by: Micha Archer
Published by: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2016. ISBN: 039916913X (ISBN13: 9780399169137). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me. 

I found this picturebook by accident at the library as I was looking for materials to include in my Poetry Workshop that I conducted a few months ago for parent-bloggers as part of the publicity for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore which was held during the last week of May before I left for Europe. I have been reading so many great things about this book, and I just knew that it would be a good book to add to my workshop, and I was not wrong!

It was Monday morning when Daniel saw a sign at the park gate which says: “Poetry in the Park – Sunday at 6 o’clock.”


That was a new thing for Daniel. He didn’t know what poetry was; and as he uttered this question aloud, he gets a helpful answer from a spider who claimed that “poetry is when morning dew glistens.” And each day, he gets a new response from other creatures in the park who didn’t mind telling Daniel what poetry meant to them, showing just how poetry is everywhere or found in the most unlikely places, and is that crazy, elusive thing that we feel when we witness beauty around us.


And so when Sunday rolled around, Daniel was pretty excited as he now has a poem to share with everyone. What it is, I shall leave for you to discover.

In my own Poetry workshop with parents and their children, I decided to use this as my read-aloud. Formerly, I used Peace Is An Offering by Annette LeBox and Stephanie Graegin and Alice Walker’s There Is A Flower At The Tip Of My Nose Smelling Me with art by Stefano Vitale.

I am glad to share that I now have a new go-to picturebook to share during workshops. This makes for a really good read-aloud as I invite young participants to read aloud Daniel’s part…


…while I asked a parent to read aloud the creatures’ responses to Daniel’s question about what poetry means to them.


It also provoked a good deal of discussion about what poetry means.


Which brings me to my next question that I wanted to ask you, Poetry Friday friends…


What does poetry mean to you?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “[Poetry Friday] In Search Of Poetry’s Meaning in “Daniel Finds A Poem”

  1. Poetry is a way of seeing life as beautiful and full of meaning. Breathe in thoughts, breathe out poetry. 🙂


  2. I felt as though I was there at this workshop with you, Myra. What a lovely book!


  3. maryleehahn

    Poetry is a ribbon that ties us all together!

    I’ll have to look for this book…love the peek into your poetry workshop! How wonderful to have parents and children together!


  4. I love this book too! Perfect for a discussion of all ages. I think poetry means more than what I am seeing in many books today. I think it should use figurative language, imagery, and sound devices to create an experience–often one that is unexpected, ironic, humorous, or profound.


  5. Another two thumbs up for this book here! It’s a delightful introduction to poetry. I ordered it to use in my first grade class but hope to get my hands on it to take it along as I move up to fourth. I love the idea of using it to generate a discussion about what poetry is. Thanks for reminding me to go rummage through some boxes when school starts!


  6. I bought this one, Myra. It is delightful, & will be marvelous to use so many times in a workshop. Love seeing your pictures, too.


  7. Lovely review of Daniel Finds a Poem. I love PBs for older kids and adults because of the light and focused way of getting the reader to think, laugh, tap, clap….be in touch with literature in some way. I use PBs with my middle school students as often as I can.

    Poetry for me is two fold…when I listen to poetry it’s language as a sixth sense. When I write poetry it’s a very tiny story (usually tiny for me) that with a high power lens.


  8. Love this PB, too, Myra! Poetry is the language of love that transcends all other barriers. =)


  9. Pingback: [Poetry Friday] A Playful Meditation On Poetry’s Meaning in “This Is A Poem That Heals Fish” – Gathering Books

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