Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds by Dale Kutzera
Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel
Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices by Ralph Fletcher
Buzz! by Ananth Panagariya
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture by Tim Barringer
The Death of Bernadette Lefthand by Ronald B. Querry
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
Hard Truth by Nevada Barr
How To by Julie Morstad
J. C. Leyendecker by Michael Schau
Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur
Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn
Moonhead and the Music Machine by Andrew Rae
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
The Necropolis Railway by Andrew Martin
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion by Alan Goldsher
Phoebe and Her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle by Dana Simpson
Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff
Satan's Prep by Gabe Guarente
Satellites in Outer Space by Isaac Asimov
The Seer of Shadows by Avi
Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown
Stars by Mary Lyn Ray
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
A Touch of Gold by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life by P.J. Hoover
When You Are Alone/It Keeps You Capone by Myra Cohn Livingston
Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio

No students! or My First Bookstore
On deja vu or why I keep a list of what I read
Replacing ARCs with Research
Why I'm no longer accepting review copies

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2023

Canadian Book Challenge: 2022-2023

Chicken Art

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

When You Are Alone/It Keeps You Capone: 04/14/15

cover art

When You Are Alone/It Keeps You Capone by Myra Cohn Livingston takes its title from the first two lines of one of the many sample poems. The purpose of the book is to help teachers do a better job of teaching children how to write poetry.

Good poetry does three things: it follows a form, it tells a story, and it evokes an emotion. Livingston argues that most teachers at least get the idea of the different forms of poetry and can get kids cranking out poetry that is technically correct but lacks heart and soul. The very best in her experience, are also able to get their students to tell a story.

But the emotional piece of poetry is an elusive one. Thematic poems (say, a winter one) will get everyone expecting certain words and images even if they are completely irrelevant for the local collective experience. Livingston taught in the Los Angeles area. Time and time again in the book she brings up the importance of making the poem true to yourself and your situation.

The other important lesson to take away from the book is the amount of work a single poem requires, especially for beginning poets. Getting a poem to fit a form isn't where one stops. It needs revision, testing aloud, and lots and lots of persistence and patience.

Four stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis