Eve Merriam, NCTE Award-winning poet

Introduction: Eve Merriam won the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1981. She has written many books for children. The poem I have selected to share is taken from, A Jar of Tiny Stars: Poems by NCTE Award-winning Poets. To prepare the students for the imagery in the poem, bring an apple and orange to show them as a way to access prior knowledge about terms such as core, seeds, rind and pit.


Don't be polite.

Bite in.

Pick it up with your fingers

and lick the juice

that may run down your chin.

It is ready and ripe now,

whenever you are.

You do not need a knife

or fork

or spoon

or plate

or napkin

or tablecloth.

For there is no core

or stem

or rind

or pit

or seed

or skin

to throw away.

Cullinan, Bernice, editor. 1996. "Hot to Eat a Poem" from A Jar of Tiny Stars: Poems by NCTE Award-Winning Poets. Pennsylvania: Wordsong, p.34. ISBN-13: 978-1-56397-087-0

Extension: Read this poem again and have the children use hand motions to act out "eating the poem." Ask the children to talk about how hearing this poem and acting out this poem makes them feel. Invite students to write their own poem describing a similar action, such as how to eat a taco or how to eat spaghetti. See what kind of words students use to describe something as typical as eating. Have students share their poems.

Books by Eve Merriam:

Chortles: New and Selected Wordplay Poems. Illus. Sheila Hamanaka. Morrow, 1989.

It Doesn't Always Have to Rhyme. Antheneum, 1964.

Poem for a Pickle: Funnybone Verses. Illus. Sheila Hamanaka. Morrow. 1989.

You be Good and I'll be Night: Jump-on-the-Bed Poems. Illus. Karen Lee Schmidt. Morrow. 1988.

No comments:

Post a Comment