Poetry Comics by Grant Snider

Poetry Comics offers budding poets a lot of ideas to think about in an appealing visual format.

Poetry Comics by Grant Snyder. Chronicle, 2024, 96 pages.

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10

Recommended for: ages 8-12

Poetry comes in almost unlimited forms and varieties, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in comic-book format. Does it work? The writer groups these visually-aided short poems by season, beginning with Spring: “If I Were a Tree” leads off, followed by “How to Stop the Spin of the Earth.” Both express the feeling of Earth waking up and shaking out new life after a long winter. Each section features poems appropriate to the season as well as timeless thoughts about identity, personality, and growing up. And each section ends with “How to Write a Poem.”

If poetry is (in part) the art of drawing pictures with words, why do we need pictures? We don’t, but this unique format opens new ways of thinking about poetry that may appeal especially to visual thinkers. The panels may disguise some familiar features and forms, but they’re easy enough to recognize: metaphor, alliteration, rhyme, Haiku, wordplay (“Bored Game”), and more. Several of the poems are open to imitation. “Autumn ABC,” for instance, is composed entirely of words beginning in alphabetical order (A Bright Clear Day/ Geese Honking/ Inner Joy/ Kicking Leaves, etc.). Could you write a similar ABC about another? Or take a small object and expand on it, as in “Ode to the Acorn”: They clink on cars/ scrunch underfoot/ skitter away with squirrels./ I wonder . . ./ How does something so small/ hold inside it the promise of an oak?

Poetry Comics has possibilities—to imitate, to think about, or simply to enjoy.

Overall Rating: 4

  • Worldview/moral value: 3.5
  • Literary/artistic value: 4.5

Read more about our ratings here.

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Janie Cheaney

Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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