Thursday, January 18, 2007

This poem expresses the joy found in both losing oneself and then finding oneself in the magic of poetry. This poem, in particular, reminds me of my childhood when my mom would force me to go outside to play. Little did she know I had a secret stash of books hidden in the garage for just those times.

by Myra Cohn Livingston

Give me a book
and long tall grass,
There will I look,
as the hours pass

To other places
I can see;
To other faces
strange to me.

In black and white
they fill my head
With men and women--
vanished, dead--

Of hope and fear,
of wish and need.
The world stands still.
I, breathless, read,

And in their history
I see
The untold mystery
Of me.

From: Good Books, Good Times!
Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Published by Charlotte Zolotow Books

Copyright 1990

Extension: (Best for grades 4+)
Take class outside and sit under a tree or in the grass if possible. The poet writes about losing oneself in books and all the places and people one can encounter in books. Have students share the title of a favorite book that "takes them someplace" or the name of a character they connect with. Share personal experiences.

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