Poetry Friday: Shapes & secret messages

In her book Diamond Willow (FSG, 2008), Helen Frost arranges the text of her poems into shapes that relate to the book’s theme. Frost also bolds the text of certain words so there is a hidden message, or poem-within-the poem, for each poem.

Imagine sharing the following audio clip of Helen Frost reading and speaking about her poems in Diamond Willow, sharing the image of the poem below as a visual example, and then challenging your students to write a poem with a shape and/or secret message included.

Listen to Helen Frost speak about and perform three poems from Diamond Willow

Poem from DIAMOND WILLOW by Helen Frost. Copyright © 2008 by Helen Frost. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Poetry Friday is hosted at Picture Book of the Day this week.

Posted by Danika Brubaker, MLS, Author and Publisher Liaison Librarian

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2 Responses to Poetry Friday: Shapes & secret messages

  1. Laura Evans April 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm #


    Thanks for sharing this. Helen Frost has a lovely relaxing voice!

    all things poetry

  2. Toby Speed April 30, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    What a beautiful book this is. I just listened to the audio, and I can’t wait to go out and buy it. The poems Helen reads are so evocative, and I feel I know this girl Diamond Willow and her dogs, out on the trail alone, just a little bit…but I’d like to get to know them better. Thanks so much for sharing.

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