poems made of concrete?…April is National Poetry Month

Last week I featured those amazingly-original Reverso Poems.

This week’s poet, Bob Raczka, is also an Olympic-level word-gymnast. His format: concrete poems. Raczka has published other volumes of these ingenuous pieces. This is his most recent:

wet cement cover image

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems, created by Bob Raczka
published in 2016 by Roaring Brook Press

A concrete poem is one where, rather than just standing in straight lines down the page, the words themselves are twisted and spiraled and bent into shapes and patterns which augment the meaning of the text.

Think of it as a marching band in a half-time performance, with the players (the words) parading around the pages into clever formations that echo the lyrics.  Something like that anyway.

A few images will do a much better job of conveying the genius behind these creations:

wet cement interior2 bob raczka

Do you see the airplane shape on the left, shooshing off? Underneath, forming the shape of a shallow, Kitty Hawk dune, words rise and fall describing the Wright brothers’ first flight. 

And here’s another delight:

wet cement interior1 bob raczka

The cleverness just puts a smile on my face.

Raczka’s poems in this volume cover everything from icicles to xylophones, fireflies to pop flies. They will tickle the fancy and imagination of elementary school children and up. I found them irresistible! Give them a try, and then search for past volumes of his playful work.