Love That Dog

He who won’t take advice will take the crooked track.
Scots Gaelic proverb

Lauri lent me this wonderful book the other night, written by Sharon Creech, Love That Dog is a story of a young boy Jack who learns how to write poetry and find his voice with the help of his teacher, his experiences and reading other poets. There are so many lessons in this short, little book that I read it over and over again.
First, Jack is resistant to poetry because as he says “boys don’t write poetry” “Girls do”. When I first started reading and writing poetry I felt exactly as Jack did, I was resistant to it not because just girls write poetry but because it felt different and there were a lot of poems I just didn’t understand.
Second, Jack finds his voice by reading other poets, writing in a style similar to other poets, finding what’s really important to him by writing poems, revising poems and finally sharing his work with fellow students. Love That Dog, with its simple, powerful message should be required reading for anyone who thinks they can’t write a poem or for poets to remind themselves why they started writing poetry.

Today, inspired by Love That Dog. Write a poem about something or someone you love very much. Read Walter Dean Myers poem, Love That Boy, to get a feel for the lyrical language and simple message that inspired Sharon Creech to write Love That Dog. Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag

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