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The Death of the Hat

22 Jun

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The Death of the Hat  is the 4th collaborative anthology by Paul B. Janeczko and Chris Raschka. The book’s title comes from the Billy Collins poem within, which is one of the poems in the final chapter “Contemporary”. For this is a collection of poetry spanning 2000 years. In fact, the full title of the book is The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50  Objects.

All of the poems focus on objects, earthly and celestial. Chris Raschka’s light watercolors give each of them life and help us see what lies beneath the surface of the poets’ words.  The poems come from Rumi, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Pablo Neruda, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others less well-known in the West like Cui Tu, Bai Juyi and Basho. Although these poems were not written for children, they are a great way to expose children to the “canon” of poetry.

The book would be useful in any classroom. Kids could write about an object, or create a history of themselves through objects, whether in poetry or in prose.

However you decide to use it, this is an excellent tool for the classroom.

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