Follow by Email

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Unlike many of my friends, I love winter. Really, I do. Most people I know are so ready for spring to arrive for real and even readier for the warmth of summer. Not me. I will take cold over hot any day. I was giddy this morning when I pulled up the shade to see our yard blanketed in snow. The tree branches that began budding last week are bigger today - but covered with snow clumps.

Contrary to some of my friends, I have no desire to own a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad (well, maybe an iPad, but I cannot rationalize the cost). I like my books with pages I can feel, not virtually flip. I like my books visible on my shelves, not in a flat-screen archive. But I stepped closer to seeing how I can enjoy both this week.

My friend Joyce Sidman introduced me to PoetryTagTime, a collection of 30 poems by 30 poets, most of whose names are recognizable in contemporary poetry for young people, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Using my husband's iPod Touch and my PC, I downloaded the Kindle App and the eBook. Within the hour, I passed on the information to my colleagues, and by the end of the day, several planned to do the same thing at home (and somehow at school on Monday). Not only are the poems spectacular, but the idea of being tagged by the previous poet and somehow connecting the topic, words, or idea to a new poem is fabulous! I loved many of the thought processes voiced by the poets, showing how they made decisions about what their subject would be and why.

Being able to show students the poems on an interactive white board brings them closer to the
process. Teachers can also use Sylvia Vardell's blog ( for tips on using each poem. Janet Wong wrote a great guest post for David Harrison's blog about poetry and the possibilities of publishing eBooks with students:

I am not going to purchase my Kindle today, but I am more open-minded than I was last weekend when it was 50 degrees. Maybe it is the temporary return to winter.


  1. The Poetry Tag sounds like a very clever idea. I'd be especially interested in hearing the stories behind each poem, and the reason for each author's choices. I'm Kindle-less as well, but perhaps I'll come across this collection somewhere else.

  2. You can get the Kindle for PC App, David, to read the book. I can show you on Wednesday.

  3. What would we do without you, dear Jewel, to inform us of these experiments in literature?