Happy Poetry Friday!
Today, I’m sharing a concrete poem written by a poet named Jackie Kozell. Let’s take a look at it first, and then I’ll share the story behind this poem.
Jackie is a talented artist, which you can see in the shape of the poem. But her artist’s eye also makes her observant — a skill poets rely on.
I love “A small shadow running to a corner” with the pause for white space in the middle. The “razor filled mouth” is a great visual and sensory image. Then there are details like the mouse and the bold letter W for the cat’s nose. Notice that the words “back legs” fall on the cat’s haunches and the words “claws grip” lead our eyes down the front legs.
Ready for the back story? Before the school year ended, my cousin gave a copy of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY to her daughter’s 6th grade teacher. The class was doing a poetry unit and tried some of the writing prompts in the back of my book. Jackie, as you guessed, is my cousin’s daughter.
I love the pacing in this poem as we wait for the cat to pounce on its prey. Awesome job, Jackie!
If you liked this poem, I recommend Betsy Franco’s book, A CURIOUS COLLECTION OF CATS: CONCRETE POEMS. Back at my old blog, Author Amok, you’ll find a classroom workshop in concrete poems, based on Betsy’s book. The link is here.