To better illustrate yesterday’s collection of poems by a poet who is quickly becoming one of my favorites, here is a pair of poems to show you both the apology and the forgiveness that this book illustrates.
This is one of the sets that hit me a bit harder than the others. It is also one of the sets where the apology couldn’t be answered (for obvious reasons) by the recipient of the original poem. Joyce Sidman finds a clever way (and an unexpected voice) for the response to the student who wrote the first poem. While both are heartbreaking (and reminded me of the loss of both of my cats within weeks of each other when I had to put them down in truly weird and unrelated circumstances), there is a sense of peace in the second poem that resonates strongly with the reader. It is that sense of peace and the “river of forgiveness” mentioned in another poem in this collection that makes this such a powerful set of poems for kids. Again, I’m sure I haven’t seen anything quite like this before (or yet, as I’m still studying poetry picture books and intend to study them for quite some time).
This too really makes me wonder about the new form of poem spawned by William Carlos Williams plum poem. Is this now a thing??? Did either author know that the other had done this too? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?