Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets

by Naomi Shihab Nye and Ashley Bryan

For 25 years, Naomi Shihab Nye has worked as a poet-in-the-schools in her home state... read more

For 25 years, Naomi Shihab Nye has worked as a poet-in-the-schools in her home state of Texas and a number of other states across the country. Over those years, she has guided children and young adults in grades 1 through 12, helping them to let the words inside out onto the page. This book is a collection of 100 of the thousands of poems young people have written with her over the years. It is an affirmation of what so many teachers and other adults who work with children already know--that there is a poet, or at least a poem, inside every child and teenager. And it is a validation for every young poet that her or his words matter. In her trademark fashion, Nye has written three introductions that invite readers into the book and into the world of poetry: “To Anyone,” “To Teachers, Librarians, Parents, and Other Friends,” and “To the Poets.” The latter begins by addressing the poets in the book: “Thank you. Thank you for not being too shy to say things. Thank you for experimenting.” It goes on to encourage all young poets, saying, “You are making a map of the days you live.” The poems are divided into thematic categories: the self and the inner world, where we live, anybody’s family, and the wide imagination. They are simple and poignant, pointed and stunning. Vignettes that accompany the index speak to the power that writing poetry can have for young people. A suggested reading list offers not only suggested poetry collections, but also a rich sampling of resources for adults to use in poetry workshops with children and teens. (Age 8 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

show less