...just got a little better. This month (what's left of it) is National Poetry Month, and instead of thinking of Langston Hughes and Shel Silverstein and Eloise Greenfield, I've been thinking of bad teenage poetry. Particularly, the stuff I used to expel. Halfway between prose and poems, all the way strange and horrid, I subjected folks at the 'Coffee House' we had at our high school at least once a month to my random, totally daft 'prosetry'. As an editor of the literary magazine, I felt I should also judge other bad poetry and prose as well as sing songs from Chess at said 'Coffee Houses' (which actually took place in the senior cafeteria...I did and do frequent the real thing, however)...
Bad teenage poetry is a tradition amongst most American youth. There's a fantastic book out called Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent and Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life (Allan Wolf), geared to the angry (or flowery) teenage poet. Illustrated by Knoxville native Merillee Liddiard (also known as Tuesday Mourning and Raven) it guides young adults through some of the structural aspects of poetry, from sonnets to haiku's to stream of consciousness free verse.
While we're on the subject, Merrille Liddiard is an AMAZING illustrator. She's illustrated a new edition of Danzinger's The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, the wicked-as-Weetzie-Bat Vampire Island, and the truly modern tween fiction Elvis and Olive (among many others...)
Here are her sites. I wish she illustrated back when I was a lass, I would have really dug her stuff.