Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A River of Words

Just the title of this picture drew me in! The thought of a river of words...

William Carlos Williams was a doctor who honored his calling to write poetry!

Jen Bryant gives the words sound: 

        Gurgle, gurgle - swish, swish, swoosh! - gurgle gurgle.
            That is the sound of the river just beyond the town where Willie lived 
            when he was younger.

The imagery she uses will take your breath away:

        The gentle sounds and shifting rhythms of the poems were like the music
        of the river.

Through her story, we learn that Willie had words in his head that did not have rhythms or rhymes. He wanted to write about "ordinary things."

Willie had some very interesting friends when he went off to college: Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, and Charles Demuth. The talked about books and music and art. This helped Willie when his medical studies became difficult.

Once he graduated, Willie did become a doctor, but he continued writing his poems.

This picture book can be used as a mentor text for wonderful descriptions, explanations of why Willie did some of the things he did, and examples of his writing to be used as mentor texts within the book.

The back matter has a well put together timeline of William Carlos Williams's life..along side it are world events! Both the author, Jen Bryant, and the illustrator, Melissa Sweet, provide information about their research for this wonderful picture book.

The Great Figure

                                              Among the rain
                                              and lights
                                              I saw the figure 5
                                              in gold
                                              on a red
                                              to gong clangs
                                              siren howls
                                              and wheels rumbling
                                              through the dark city.