Friday, January 11, 2013

Lisa Schroeder's Poetry Revolution

Happy Poetry Friday! The amazing Renee La Tulippe has Roundup at No Water River.

Just finished Lisa Schroeder's latest YA, FALLING FOR YOU. You may know Lisa for her YA novels-in-verse or for her adorable MG cupcake books.

This one is a prose novel about Rae, who uses poetry to help herself deal with the not-ideal home life she's been given.

There is so much to love about Rae. You ache for her as she struggles to survive a life she wouldn't choose for herself. She so desperately wants to be loved -- as we all do -- and I just wanted to scoop her up out of the madness of awful stepdad, uninvolved mother and stalker boyfriend and tell her, everything will be okay.

This is a story about a girl saving her own life, and one of the things she uses to do that is poetry. She keeps a poetry journal, and readers get a glimpse.

Here's my favorite from the book:

What I've Learned
by Anonymous

I'm not the floor
to be walked on
or the hammer
to be used.

I'm not the choir
to sing your praises 
or the commercials
to be ignored.

I'm the baby bird
wanting to fly
and the orchid
starting to bloom.

I'm the bonfire
spreading warmth
and the poem
with something to say.

Good-bye, commercials.
Hello, poetry.
It's time to start being
the me I want to be. 

author Lisa Schroeder
How's that for girl power? And poetry power.

Notice how Rae doesn't claim this poem at first, and only allows the poem to be printed in the school paper "by anonymous." It isn't until other students start posting their most heart-felt poems anonymously that she realizes she's started a poetry revolution -- and gets brave enough to "own" her poems.

How many of us have been that girl, the one afraid to share our poems for what they might reveal about us? For what others might thing of us?

And yet, and yet... it's in the sharing that strength is earned and connections are forged and life is transformed.

A couple of other excerpts:

"I loved the sound of that - a poetry revolution. Troubles at home? Put your pen to the page? Is your boyfriend being a jerk? Instead of spreading lies all over the Internet, whip out your journal and write a poem or two."

Good medicine, right? And here's the same sentiment shared in poetic form:

by Rae Lynch

When a wound
is fresh,
my pen is
the ointment
and my paper
the gauze.

What a surprise.
I'm not the only one.

We write to remind yourselves
we have a voice.
That what we
worry about,

Scars form
and we try
to hide them,
as if they define
who we are.

They don't.

Like it or not,
hurting is part
of the human experience.
Maybe we shouldn't
be so afraid
to let the world
see our scars.

Sharing brings people

It's secrecy that can
tear people

And finally, because my one little word for 2013 is SKY, this exchange between Rae and good-guy Leo:

"You love the sky, don't you?" I asked as I lay down next to him. "You always seem to point that thing [video camera] toward it."

"I guess I do. It's rarely the same sky twice. It's always changing, always different. And yet, always beautiful."

Yep. This is a lovely book for anyone who has felt out-of-control of one's own life or trapped or worse. Rae is an inspiration because she doesn't spend a lot of time wallowing. This girl finds a way to create the life she wants.

Readers, do pick this one up. It's my new favorite Lisa Schroeder book!


  1. I'm hooked. LOVE the poems and I generally don't understand them

  2. Thanks so much for featuring Lisa's new book! The poems you shared are wonderful. I've been a Lisa fan since I Heart You, You Haunt Me -- and of course I'm mad for her cupcake series. Can't wait to see Falling for You!

  3. Ooh I want to read that. I love Lisa's writing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for sharing these poems. I'm hooked. I'll find the book (s).

  5. I have this book on hold at my library! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing excerpt that heighten my anticipation. =)

  6. I don't know the author, Lisa, so am happy to hear about this, Irene. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing so much.

  7. This sounds like a wonderful book. Putting it on my wish list.

  8. Good-bye, commercials.
    Hello, poetry.
    ...I love the sound of THAT!

  9. Thanks, I shall be putting this one on my YA TBR list!


Your thoughts?