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Review: Iconic Poetry

Iconic Poetry: Poems on Life’s Favorite Icons
Sara Lauritzen

Paperback: 68 pages

Publisher: Sara Lauritzen (March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0983328609
ISBN-13: 978-0983328605
Source: Printed book from the author

This collection of poems makes you remember that poetry can be found in all aspects of our daily lives. I loved playing a guessing game with some of the poems, trying to guess which famous icon was being described in the short rhyming stanzas. In a typical review I give a short summary of the plot and talk about characters and such, but that doesn’t work for poetry. Instead, I’ve decided to write about the poems I enjoyed the most. After all, good poetry makes you ponder… and that’s exactly what I did while reading.

I enjoyed the poems in this collection for many different reasons. Some inspired the teacher in me to think of new ideas for teaching my students poetry, other poems made me think about myself and my kids. The poems weren’t lengthy and they also rhymed, which added a sense of whimsy to the writing. I must admit, there is something about a rhyme scheme that makes a poem fun to read. Also, I appreciate the mature command of language and the unique writing style evident in the poetry. This collection of poems is worthy of shelf space in my library.

Like literature, poetry that can make you connect to the words on paper is powerful. My first connection was with the poem “Face on the Wall.” If you can’t guess from the title, the poem was about Facebook. I’m fairly new to the social networking market myself, but I could relate to the poem wholeheartedly. The description of “posting” in the poem was humorous (to me at least). I could picture the people I know having a battle to post the most thought provoking or random remarks possible in order to get comments back from “friends.” It’s like a cyber popularity contest. The social networking market is not limited to just Facebook. We certainly can’t forget about Twitter, the new wave of connectedness. Don’t worry, there is a poem about that as well. “A Little Bird Told Me” is dedicated to the power of Tweets. With the new wave of cell phones on the market, it’s easier than ever to have access to the internet at all times of the day. We are no longer bound to check in from a computer. (Hence the power of Twitter and the like.) In one instant your day can be made or ruined via the equivalent of note passing for the 21st century. As the poem states, “make sure you’re good with the bird on all fronts/ The bird tweets the way, and the bird can be blunt.” I just loved that line. For me, it proves the power behind texting and all forms of social media.

Other connections I had with the poems came from “Drink of All Times” and “Cheesy Delight.” Now personally, I’m not a fan of sodas or macaroni and cheese. My metabolism protests both culinary delights. But my family, however, does not feel the same way. My husband is addicted to carbonated drinks, his favorite being Coke. He hates Diet Coke because he says it has no taste, but he raves of Coke Zero. Naturally, I chuckled when I read the lines “Along came Zero to out-do Diet/ But I need my sugar or I’ll cause a riot.” In two simple lines his philosophy of life was captured. The poem “A Drink of All Times” fits him perfectly. “Cheesy Delight” was a poem suitable for my youngest son. The only thing he wants to eat is macaroni and cheese. Although I’m not a fan of the snack, the wonderful descriptions of my toddler’s food of choice made my mouth water. I could almost imagine macaroni being a gourmet dish at a five star restaurant! Finally, “Fairytale Wishes” spoke of my sister-in-law. She is in love with all things Disney. (This is something we share, actually.) We always joke about how we would spend all of our spare time at Disney if our families would allow us. It only seems fitting that the lines “If that brave Prince would kiss me/ I’d live happily ever after at Disney” remind me of my sister-in-law. They were penned for her it seems!

While most of the icons in the poetry were well known, there was one poem that featured a less known monument: The Burj Al Arab in Dubai. I admit, I had to look up an image to fully understand the descriptions. I instantly recognized the building, but I never knew the name. However, that’s not what impressed me with the poem. The descriptions of the Burj Al Arab were phenomenal. Lines like “An interior surreal, luxurious and bold/ Colors vividly aqua, blue and gold” were just some of the descriptions that helped me picture this magnificent piece of architecture. Honestly, this is the poem that kicked in my “teacher mode.” As I was reading I thought this would be the perfect poem to read aloud to my students to practice visualization. I also thought about using it to teach descriptive writing and poetry. How fun it would be to have them take a well known icon and describe it in a poem! Even though I have no personal connection with this poem, it was one of my favorites because it holds a real-life purpose for me. The other poems were fun, but this one has a lasting impression since I can use it in my classroom.

Overall, Iconic Poetry was a quick and enjoyable read. If you enjoy whimsical poems, you would enjoy this collection. I laughed at some of the descriptions in the poems because they reminded me of myself and people I know. Finding elements of myself in the poems (like the addicted eBay shopper) was great. It shows me that poetry can be found in all aspects of our lives. Maybe the next time I’m at Wal-Mart or waiting in traffic I will remember this and pen my own little bit of iconic poetry.



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