Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 243–244 | Cite as

Poetic Resources

  • Gen Giebel Chavis


  1. Dickinson, Emily. (1890; 1961). “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” Final Harvest Emily Dickinson’s Poems, ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Boston: Little Brown. (An apt poem for the teenager struggling with identity issues; a poem that gives us permission to be a private person not always having to focus on our public image.)Google Scholar
  2. Fraser, Kathleen. (1973). “Dresses.” No more Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women. Eds. F. Howe & E. Bass. N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor Books. (Captures the frustrations of the twelve year-old misunderstood in a world of hand-me-down clothing and other people’s expectations and standards.)Google Scholar
  3. Fraser, Kathleen. (1973). “Poem in Which My Legs Are Accepted.” No More Masks! Also in Woman: An Affirmation. Eds. A. Fannin et al. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1979. (On accepting one’s body and one’s self, complete with imperfections and strengths.)Google Scholar
  4. Giovanni, Nikki. (1968). “Nikki-Rosa.” Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment N.Y.: William Morrow. Also in Woman: An Affirmation. (A straightforward speaker shares childhood remembrances which include the everyday realities of growing up poor and black but emphasize the warmth of family loyalty and love.)Google Scholar
  5. Glenn, Mel. (1982). Class Dismissed! High School Poems. N.Y.: Clarion Books, Ticknor & Fields. (The author, a high school English teacher, writes these poems as though they were written by students. The poems deal with a range of issues relevant to the lives of adolescents and their families.)Google Scholar
  6. Kavanaugh, James. (1971; 1984). “I Knew This Kid.” Will You Be My Friend? Nevada City, CA: Argonaut Publishing. (Although written in the third person, this poem powerfully captures the experience of a boy who denies his gentle, natureloving side in order to please his father.)Google Scholar
  7. Konek, Carol. (1976). “Darling.” I Hear My Sisters Saying, Poems by Twentieth-Century Women. Eds. C. Konek & D. Walters. N.Y.: Thomas Y. Crowell. (A daughter addressing her father calls him a “trickster hero,” for she sees him as an elusive figure performing feats that keep him inaccessible.)Google Scholar
  8. Kumin, Maxine. (). “After Love.” No More Masks! (The speaker focuses on the aftermath of intimacy experienced during lovemaking-on the recognition of loneliness and the awareness of one’s own boundaries.)Google Scholar
  9. Lorde, Audre. (1978). Hanging Fire.” The Black Unicorn: Poems. N.Y.: Norton. Also in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Third Edition Ed. Alexander W. Allison et al. N.Y.: Norton, 1983. (A fourteen-year-old speaks of her fears, needs, and preoccupations while focusing on issues related to school, boyfriends, and her mother.)Google Scholar
  10. McGinley, Phyllis. (1960). “Girl’s-Eye View of Relatives-First Lesson.” Times Three-Selected Verse From Three Decades. N.Y.: Viking. (With good humor, a teenager tells of fathers’ tendencies toward overprotectiveness and their difficulty in acknowledging their daughters’ maturity.)Google Scholar
  11. McGinley, Phyllis. (1960). “Portrait of Girl with Comic Book.” Times Three: Selected Verse From Three Decades. (A forceful poem, colloquial in tone, reflects the ambivalence of the thirteen year old and shows how the adolescent’s world and interests are filled with contradictions.)Google Scholar
  12. Oden, Gloria. (1976). “The Way It Is.” I Hear My Sisters Saying, (A black girl speaks with pride of her mother as a model of beauty and grace in a racist world where “the dominant measures” of beauty are blond hair, blue eyes and “skin fabled white as the unicorn’s.”)Google Scholar
  13. Oles, Carole. (1979). “The Explanation.” The Loneliness Factor. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech Press. (A girl at twelve expresses feelings of shame and isolation when she begins menstruating.)Google Scholar
  14. Roethke, Theodore. (1942). “My Papa’s Waltz.” Words for the Wind Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. (A child remembers the mixture of violence and tenderness shown by his drinking father.)Google Scholar
  15. Rukeyser, Muriel. (1976). “The Question.” I Hear My Sisters Saying. (A daughter voices frustration over her mother’ silence in response to her “first grown sexual question,” yet also tries to understand her mother’s response.)Google Scholar
  16. Soto, Gary. “Cruel Boys.” 19 New American Poets of the Golden Gate. Ed. Philip Dow. N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1984. (The persona, an eighth grader, speaks of friendship, tough behavior and rebellion against authority.)Google Scholar
  17. Soto, Gary. “Heaven.” 19 New American Poets of the Golden Gate. (About adolescent high jinks and the ways in which music affects teenagers creating a barrier between them and their parents’ world of adult responsibilities.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1989

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  • Gen Giebel Chavis

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