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Children's Poetry
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Poetry Break # 10

Read some interesting facts about Lee Bennet Hopkins below.

nyc-skyline.gif

Poetry Break # 10: A Favorite Poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins

 

Introduction:  Ask students to name and describe their favorite city. What do they like about it?  What sounds, smells, and sights excite them?  Tell students that poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins lives in New York City, the city he loves.

 

City I Love

 

In the city

I live in-

city I love-

mornings wake

to swishes, swashes,

sputters

of sweepers

swooshing litter

from gutters.

 

In the city

I live in-

city I love-

afternoons pulse

with

people hurrying,

scurrying-

races of faces

pacing to

must-get-there

places.

 

In the city

I live in-

city I love-

nights shimmer

with lights

competing

with stars

above

unknown heights.

 

In the city

I live in-

city I love-

as dreams

start to creep

my city

of senses

lulls

me

to

sleep.

 

Taken from Home to Me: Poems Across America edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, copyright 2002.  New York: Scholastic Inc., 2002, p. 40. ISBN: 0439340969.

Extension: a) To perform, divide class into four groups. Have each group read a stanza. b) Read other poetry and picture books celebrating New York City or another large American city such as Chicago. Compare and contrast the other material with Hopkins' poem. Which do students like better? Why? c) If your students live in or near a large city, write a group poem celebrating that city.

 

Interesting Facts about Lee Bennett Hopkins
 
* Mr. Hopkins grew up in a troubled family that lived in a housing project in Newark, New Jersey. The oldest of three boys, he became the man of the house when he was twelve.
 
* His eighth grade teacher inspired him to read, write, and love theater. Hopkins credits his teacher with his strong interest in education.
 
* He began his career teaching sixth grade at a public school.
 
* Later, Hopkins worked at Scholastic, Inc. as an editor and curriculum specialist.  During this time, he published eight poetry books. 
 
* Hopkins has published over 50 books and has  received many honors and awards. He is the donor of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association Promising Poet Award.