Published in School Library Journal, September 2004
Some kids like to play baseball. Some prefer playing “house.” And more than a few enjoy both. I was a kid who liked to play with words. I was fascinated not only by their sounds and their definitions, but by their shades of meaning. I would take my paper dolls and concoct elaborate descriptions of their costumes: “This stunning magenta sheath is made of watered silk with a tulle peplum. The matching cloche hat has hand-sewn paillettes.” What a joy it was to be able to distinguish magenta from rose, paillettes from mere sequins.
I was enchanted by words then—and I still am. And what better to do with such enchantment than to bring the magic to others, children in particular, by becoming a writer—and, more specifically, a poet? For what genre is as much about gorgeous, glorious, perfect words than poetry?
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