Today, let’s jump back to the US to look at a gorgeous collection of poetry paired with photos from National Geographic.
“The Poetry of US” is another very big poetry picture book collection that rests heavily in your hands. This collection was edited by J. Patrick Lewis and boasts over 200 poems about every region of the US with poets old (Walt Whitman, etc.) and new! I loved roaming through each section and getting a feel for each region, state and territory from the variety of poems (and poets!), as well as the gorgeous photos. There are favorite regional foods, historical figures, and places to visit, but also a lot of unexpected things like the Inkwell Polar Bear Club in Massachusetts. This is a collection meant to be slowly savored, its many variety of words, poets and cultures are to be enjoyed over time like a soup bone a dog revisits over and over again. It would be overwhelming to read in just one sitting.
That being said, I had a REALLY hard time picking only one poem to share. So many of my favorite poets are gathered here in celebration of what makes this country come together. Matt Forrest Esenwine, Langston Hughes, Georgia Heard, Carole Boston Weatherford, Robert Frost, James Wright, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich (who wrote about Alaska!). But I’m sure the poem I picked simply because I loved it so, will come as no great surprise to you, if you know me well. It’s a beach poem by Joyce Sidman! HOW could I resist?