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The Poetry of US: More than 200 poems that celebrate the people, places, and passions of the United States

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It's all about us! Join former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a lyrical journey through the United States to experience the wonders of America's people and places through 200+ inspiring poems and stunning photographs. Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poet It's all about us! Join former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a lyrical journey through the United States to experience the wonders of America's people and places through 200+ inspiring poems and stunning photographs. Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poetry. Poems are arranged by region, from coast to coast, and among them you'll find works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Robert Frost, Naomi Shihab Nye, Walt Whitman, and more. From the familiar to the surprising, subjects include people, places, landmarks, monuments, nature, and celebrations. Designed for sharing, but geared to younger readers, this beautifully illustrated treasury is a must-have for the whole family.


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It's all about us! Join former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a lyrical journey through the United States to experience the wonders of America's people and places through 200+ inspiring poems and stunning photographs. Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poet It's all about us! Join former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a lyrical journey through the United States to experience the wonders of America's people and places through 200+ inspiring poems and stunning photographs. Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poetry. Poems are arranged by region, from coast to coast, and among them you'll find works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Robert Frost, Naomi Shihab Nye, Walt Whitman, and more. From the familiar to the surprising, subjects include people, places, landmarks, monuments, nature, and celebrations. Designed for sharing, but geared to younger readers, this beautifully illustrated treasury is a must-have for the whole family.

30 review for The Poetry of US: More than 200 poems that celebrate the people, places, and passions of the United States

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hankins

    America the (Poetically) Beautiful “All poetry begins with Geography.” This idea from Robert Frost which appears on the first page of a new collection of poetry illustrates best the idea of synthesis between verse and visual. The sun presents just over the ridge of a quiet meadow of tall grasses reminding older readers of “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” That the editor, J. Patrick Lewis leads with a quote from one of America’s most beloved poet laureates is not an accidental inclusion or placement. Th America the (Poetically) Beautiful “All poetry begins with Geography.” This idea from Robert Frost which appears on the first page of a new collection of poetry illustrates best the idea of synthesis between verse and visual. The sun presents just over the ridge of a quiet meadow of tall grasses reminding older readers of “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” That the editor, J. Patrick Lewis leads with a quote from one of America’s most beloved poet laureates is not an accidental inclusion or placement. The newest collection of poetry from the series of anthologies presented by National Geographic is a trip into and through what Lewis identifies as “the breadth and depth, the head and heart of America” (5). Invoking the idea of Frost and an inability to stay, this collection becomes a type of travelogue in verse for the reader. It is with this perspective that Lewis presents this new collection of poems for young readers. J. Patrick Lewis is no stranger to working with National Geographic Partners, LLC having edited 2012’s Book of Animal Poetry and 2015’s Book of Nature Poetry collections. In what seems to be a three-year cycle for these collections, it is timely that the new collection would focus upon America, her places and her people. What is suggested by the new collection is that while there a number of entities which may set to divide America, one has served the country well by way of its ability to unify the people: poetry. Poetry about America and her people. In the fall of 2018, in cooperation with National Geographic, former Children’s Poet Laureate and National Council of Teachers of English award winning poet, J. Patrick Lewis realized a personal dream of putting together a collection of poetry that would be representative of the United States as a whole (including its territories). Citing First Nations author, William Least Half Moon’s Blue Highways as an inspiration, in particular, for this collection, Lewis promises to bring the reader “the underside, backside, inside, and other side of America, the undiluted richness of our national diversity” (5). A quick glance at the newest collection provides the reader a sense of a journey to come. Anyone familiar with National Geographic’s trade and periodical publications will come into the text with expectations for its outward presentation and packaging. Those familiar with the aforementioned poetry collections for children will see something by way of a formula that seems to work by way of vision and verse within these collections created for children but celebrated by the adults within the poetry and education communities. A striking dust jacket adorns each of the three collections and offers more than two-hundred poems that celebrate the subject of the collection. Underneath the dust jacket is a case which incorporates to appropriate images from the National Geographic archives. The front cover of the book presents a full-cover image of a person wearing a foam headdress designed to make them look like the Statue of Liberty looking through a viewer as one might if he, she, or they were looking at a tourist attraction. The suggestion here is not lost on the reviewer that The Poetry of Us is a collection designed so that the reader can look into and through the poetry and see America through a poetic lens. The introduction to the collection spans thirteen pages and offers an introduction to the mix of poets and approaches to poetry to come. Here, Robert Frost is juxtaposed within the spread with award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford. Walt Whitman “hears” and Langston Hughes in the next spread. What follows the introduction to the collection is a dive into New England’s rich traditions and celebrations. And, then, the collection proceeds to take the reader through six more regions each presenting its best self as a part of the composite nation sharing verse and vision. Some pieces capture an event like Kate Coombs’ Boston Marathon (which is coupled with David Elliott’s “Boston Baked Beans: A Recipe” which is more of an exploration of the Boston vernacular than a recipe one might follow). Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “The Place of 500 Miles” celebrates the Indianapolis 500, an event with which she would be familiar as one who lives near the city. As a matter of reverent introspection, the collection also features poems about subjects the present the work of our country that has been ongoing for some time. In the “Southeast” section of The Poetry of US, J. Patrick Lewis takes his turn as poet to return to the story of Emmett Till which appears in the spread with a poem by Reuben Jackson, a tribute to Trayvon Martin. In the “Great Plains,” readers are invited to read and to take in the rich and diverse languages of America. Dr. Gabriela Baeza Ventura presents a translation of La Luz de El Paso for which author/poet Pat Mora offers an English translation which celebrates what the people of this region experience through each of the senses including what they hear each day in English and Spanish. Traveling through the collection to the “Rocky Mountain West,” readers encounter a classic poem, “The Bean Eaters” by Gwendolyn Brooks coupled with Susan Blackaby’s “Backyard Barbecue.” Fly fisherman presented by Ralph Fletcher meet Steven Withrow’s white rapid navigators as Michelle Heidenrich Barnes helps the reader to lift off with hot air balloon pilots in a concrete piece, “Mass Ascension.” There is so much to celebrate in this new poetry collection. Each of the regions of the book would easily compliment a unit of study on a region or a particular city. The collection becomes an introduction to the contemporary poets while giving a nod to the poets who have come before. The mix of poets, subjects, forms, and styles represents nicely the diversity of our country and this is where The Poetry of US could receive its highest praise in the thoughtful presentation of the whole of the country. “Last Thoughts” invite the reader to consider the words to George M. Cohen’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag” as a sun sets now on a golden coastline. Langston Hughes invites and challenges the reader to “Let America Be America Again.” Leigh Lewis closes the collection with “I Am More” which serves as a summary statement for the collection and for the country it was designed to present and to celebrate. It would be just as easy to climb into this collection and pick the poems from the index that are familiar or part of a reading curriculum. In his “Final Note” for the collection, J. Patrick Lewis challenges and reminds the reader when he writes, “we have stopped to admire beauty and oddity in equal measure. Though our poets have painted a nation of rainbows, they have not ignored the darker weather of poverty and discrimination. . .each page here reveals a powerful poetry of place from mountains to plains and rivers from out-of-the-way America to the explosion of its great cities. Nor have we left behind some of our memorable citizens whose lives have enriched us all” (184). As a classroom teacher, I cannot think of a more necessary for the room collection than The Poetry of US. Whether this book would land in the hands of a teacher who would use the book to compliment a unit of study or in the hands of a young reader who would consider the book region by region, the whole of the text provides the inroads to many more lessons in poetry as the book presents a country by way of its “underside, backside, inside, and other side.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    This book is all about sharing the love of our amazing country, the United States. Whether it is the people, the places, or nature around us, all of it is what makes our nation amazing. This coffee-table book is loaded with gorgeous, jaw-dropping photography that National Geographic is so well-known for. The book is divided by the regions including New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Great Plains, Rocky Mountain West, Pacific Coast, and then the Territories. Each of the poems in these This book is all about sharing the love of our amazing country, the United States. Whether it is the people, the places, or nature around us, all of it is what makes our nation amazing. This coffee-table book is loaded with gorgeous, jaw-dropping photography that National Geographic is so well-known for. The book is divided by the regions including New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Great Plains, Rocky Mountain West, Pacific Coast, and then the Territories. Each of the poems in these sections is centered around landmarks, weather, people and history from this area of the country. Of course, I loved the Midwest section and was surprised to see a poem about a small town near here. It’s called “Poem to Be Read at 3 A.M.” and it perfectly describes what it is like driving through a town like mine at 3:00 in the morning. I was also thrilled to see poems written by poets I already know and love like Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Jane Yolen, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. The editor of this collection, J. Patrick Lewis, also has several wonderful poems included. Another favorite poem, this one from the New England section, was “If I Had Nothing Else to Do, I’d Write a Christmas Card to You”. This poem written about a Christmas card that travels all around the country is in rhyming form and of course, doesn’t arrive at its final destination until July. I also really loved Jane Yolen’s “Ellis Island Mathematics” from the Mid-Atlantic section. Her poem shares the stories of immigrants checking in at Ellis Island. There’s a poem about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Phil the Groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a tree in the middle of Gettysburg, Grandma’s Front Porch, O’Hare Airport, Mount Rushmore, Hog Calling, Fly Fishing, Traffic Jams, and so much more. There is likely a poem about a place you have visited or want to visit, an activity you love, or a memory from your childhood. This is truly an amazing collection of poems and a wonderful compilation of pride in the United States. It would make a wonderful gift for a family with children young and old.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reshamad

    Over 200 plus poems compiled in a solid large sized volume, J Patrick Lewis’ “The Poetry of US” is a celebration indeed. This collection of poems is all about people, places and cultures of the United States. What makes us unique, what is worthy of celebrations? Those are the questions the author seeks to answer via poems in this book. Poems are organized by regions, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains West, Pacific Coast and the Territories. The book open Over 200 plus poems compiled in a solid large sized volume, J Patrick Lewis’ “The Poetry of US” is a celebration indeed. This collection of poems is all about people, places and cultures of the United States. What makes us unique, what is worthy of celebrations? Those are the questions the author seeks to answer via poems in this book. Poems are organized by regions, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains West, Pacific Coast and the Territories. The book opens with an introduction from Patrick Lewis and with Katharine Lee Bates’ poem “America the Beautiful“. The next six poems in the introduction section cover our national bird (“Naming the American Eagle”), national flower (“Our Rose”), “The gift outright” by Robert Frost, poem on democracy (“Power to the people: Signs of our Democracy”),”I hear American Singing” and “I,too” by Langston Hughes. “The Poetry of US” invites the readers to dive into the diversity of our nation. Flip through National Geographic pages of photographs capturing our people, personalities, food, music, landscapes, activities, flora and fauna and much more. Poems are embossed over gorgeous photographs. Pick your favorite region or pick your favorite poet. You will find a wide variety of style and substance in this volume. A few poems quickly became our favorite. A poem depicting the 1849 Gold Rush in California called “Here lies you bet, California” was one we kept coming back to. Another favorite was the “Standing outside Graceland” a poem by Eric Ode on the king of Rock n’Roll. Finally, not all poems were celebratory. A moving poem called “The Innocent” by J. Patrick Lewis was a remembrance to Emmett Till. “The Poetry of US” is a wonderful collection for your home library and makes for a perfect gift any season and any event. This anthology of poems is truly a celebration of people and hence timeless by itself.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Renee (LazyDayLit)

    I received a free physical copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This beautiful collection of poetry will keep you busy for hours and take you on a journey from New England, to the Southeast, to the Pacific Coast, and all the regions in between. There are even a few poems for the US Territories! These poems capture the best and even some of the worst of the U.S. but all are beautiful and deserving of this lovely collection. With I received a free physical copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This beautiful collection of poetry will keep you busy for hours and take you on a journey from New England, to the Southeast, to the Pacific Coast, and all the regions in between. There are even a few poems for the US Territories! These poems capture the best and even some of the worst of the U.S. but all are beautiful and deserving of this lovely collection. With topics and themes that range from state birds and animals to natural wonders, to memorials and monuments, to holiday celebrations and famous foods, this collection will keep you busy with all the fun, wholesome, and quirky elements that make up such a vast and diverse country. It spans throughout American history and includes poems about immigration, revolutions, wars, slavery, social injustices, and more. Notable poets and authors include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Jane Yolen, Joseph Bruchac, Gwendolyn Brooks, Charles Ghigna (who wrote a wonderful picture book that we reviewed recently). This review was originally shared on Lazy Day Literature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Bernard

    America has a large and diverse population. There are many cultures, languages and religions that make this country a popular place to find freedom and live the American dream. In this guide readers can enjoy poems set into motion by our history, scenery and the peoples stretched across this great land. Stunning photos capture the beauty that is America. Readers will be taken on a trip across the country starting from New England all the way to the Territories which cover Puerto Rico, the Virgin America has a large and diverse population. There are many cultures, languages and religions that make this country a popular place to find freedom and live the American dream. In this guide readers can enjoy poems set into motion by our history, scenery and the peoples stretched across this great land. Stunning photos capture the beauty that is America. Readers will be taken on a trip across the country starting from New England all the way to the Territories which cover Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and a few others. If you didn’t know all of the words to America the Beautiful they can be found here. A poem for protests in Boston for equal rights from years past is expressed. In the Southeast a poem acknowledges the Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. In the Rocky Mountain West a poem speaks to the Continental Divide and Yellowstone National Park. J. Patrick Lewis was the former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate. His review of these many poems targeted towards children and honoring and remembering Americas lands and history, as well as providing insight to the cultures, peoples and way of life. Parents and teachers can discuss with kids where they would most like to visit in the United States, share insight about their heritage and so much more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com

    This book poem is AMAZING...the pictures, the words dancing along the pages allowing the reader to be introduced to so many parts of the US in this reading sensation. This book is sheer joy, love and smiles from cover to cover!!! This book focuses on the need to understand the diversity of the US, to embrace the all the people and to take care of the country we live in. This book highlights every part of the US...let that sink in...that is no small feat. This book is such a gift to the world to This book poem is AMAZING...the pictures, the words dancing along the pages allowing the reader to be introduced to so many parts of the US in this reading sensation. This book is sheer joy, love and smiles from cover to cover!!! This book focuses on the need to understand the diversity of the US, to embrace the all the people and to take care of the country we live in. This book highlights every part of the US...let that sink in...that is no small feat. This book is such a gift to the world to showcase and highlight this amazing country for future generations to see. With 200 poems and pictures to see within this book and they are all stunning, vibrant and awe inspiring. I have never really seen a book like this before and that is what makes it so special. This book is a MUST for everyone to own a copy...it is really that wonderful. Buy it, you won't regret it...I PROMISE!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Loriann

    "The Poetry of Us: More Thank 200 Poems That Celebrate the People, Places, and Passions of the United States" is chock full of patriotism and pride. From personal poems that speak for everyone to powerful pieces that define us, "The Poetry of Us:..." is a must have in every classroom and every home. Beautiful, bright images and photos are visual poetry in and of themselves so, ultimately, there are more than 200 poems in this book. Great investment and well worth the read. "The Poetry of Us: More Thank 200 Poems That Celebrate the People, Places, and Passions of the United States" is chock full of patriotism and pride. From personal poems that speak for everyone to powerful pieces that define us, "The Poetry of Us:..." is a must have in every classroom and every home. Beautiful, bright images and photos are visual poetry in and of themselves so, ultimately, there are more than 200 poems in this book. Great investment and well worth the read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Two BookWorms Blog

    They are a love letter to America. Through the words of poets, we explore our country, region by region, celebrating some of best, most wonderful things it has to offer. Come along and experience what each region has to offer. For the full review: https://twobookwormsblog.wordpress.co... They are a love letter to America. Through the words of poets, we explore our country, region by region, celebrating some of best, most wonderful things it has to offer. Come along and experience what each region has to offer. For the full review: https://twobookwormsblog.wordpress.co...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aeicha

    This is a beautiful and uplifting poetry collection that celebrates the United States and her diverse people, cultures, landscapes, and more. Captivating poems from a wide selection of poets and gorgeous photography grace each page. Readers of all ages will be dazzled by this collection.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Ashley

    Beautiful photos support a great collection of poems

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Jane

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  15. 5 out of 5

    Serena

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jayanne

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Williams

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathy (Bermudaonion)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura Shovan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Numa Ali

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Steinglass

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  27. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindy-Lane

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mindi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

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