Friday, October 8, 2010

A Sensagoria

I was cleaning the library upstairs a bit and found my copy of Voices from the Wild by David Bouchard in one of my bags.  Whenever I travel, I always toss it in my bag.  It's the perfect book of poetry to use with any thinking strategy... it's provocative, thought-provoking, and unusual.
     I got this book in 1999 from a student who had just begun to develop Stargardt's Disease.  Since that time, he's gone on to college to pursue a degree in engineering, he's hiked in the Andes, and runs in races.  He doesn't let his disability deter him.  When he was in my classroom, there was little technology for students with visual impairments, but I remember him as a gifted writer.  I think it's ironic that the book he gave me that year was a "sensagoria" about relying on senses to survive.
     Each section of the book deals with a specific sense in mind.  Written in first person, the poetry is rich in detail.  Each poem tells how animals use their senses to hunt and avoid being hunted.  The illustrations are beautiful.  We learn how animals rely on their keen senses to survive.
     I use several poems in the book for inferring, determining what's important in text, and creating sensory images.  It's beautiful and simple... and not easy!  I love this poetry book.  And, whenever I open it, I remember that one of my students, who himself relied on other senses to succeed gave it to me.  I wonder if he remembers?

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