Michael Clay Thompson: Poetics Program

Michael Clay Thompson: Poetics Program Series Cover

Michael Clay Thompson's poetics program is designed to enable children to understand poetry and the significant role that poetics plays in the construction of good writing, whether that writing is poetry or not. Children are taught in increasing detail about the elements of poems, including patterns of sound, meter, stanza, figures of speech, poetic techniques, and meaning.

Michael shows how meticulously poets plan and craft poems. Children gain an appreciation for both the rigorous intellectual discipline and the complex creativity that a poet must bring together in order to create a poem.

Special attention is given to the design of each page of the books so that children can see the concepts not only through the text but visually as well. With books that are beautiful, creative, engaging, and unusual, the series positively soars.

The poetics book at the fourth level, the Literature Level, is particularly noteworthy. Unlike the other six poetics books, which all explore poetic techniques within the context of poetry, The Poetry of Literature examines the poetic devices that novelists use to write extraordinary prose. This book is a valuable addition to the series and should not be missed, even by students who have progressed beyond this level of the curriculum.

Michael is working on a preliminary level of his language arts curriculum (for children ages 6-9) called the Poodle Level. The first poetics book, Poodle Knows Poetry, is already available. It is a delightful introduction for children to the sounds of words and the cadence of language, focusing on concepts such as rhyme, alliteration, meter, and stanza. View the entire Poodle level here.

A key method of Michael Clay Thompson in teaching poetics is to get students to vocalize the sounds of letters and words. Watch a video clip of him showing teachers how to do this.

For a complete overview of the MCT language arts curriculum, go to the Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum page.

To watch a video about the poetics program that includes Michael discussing the importance of poetry and poetics, click here.

Michael Clay Thompson Level Packages
We have made special packages of the curriculum available to help make ordering easier and to save you money: Homeschool Packages

Michael Clay Thompson's poetics program is designed to enable students to understand poetry and the significant role that poetics plays in the construction of good writing, whether that writing is poetry or not. Students are taught in increasing detail about the elements of poems, including patterns of sound, meter, stanza, figures of speech, poetic techniques, and meaning.

Michael shows how meticulously poets plan and craft poems. Students gain an appreciation for both the rigorous intellectual discipline and the complex creativity that a poet must bring together in order to create a poem.

Special attention is given to the design of each page of the books so that students can see the concepts not only through the text but visually as well. With books that are beautiful, creative, engaging, and unusual, the series positively soars.

The poetics book at the fourth level, the Literature Level, is particularly noteworthy. Unlike the other six poetics books, which all explore poetic techniques within the context of poetry, The Poetry of Literature examines the poetic devices that novelists use to write extraordinary prose. This book is a valuable addition to the series and should not be missed, even by students who have progressed beyond this level of the curriculum.

Michael is working on a preliminary level of his language arts curriculum (for students in grades 1-3) called the Poodle Level. The first poetics book, Poodle Knows Poetry, is already available. It is a delightful introduction for children to the sounds of words and the cadence of language, focusing on concepts such as rhyme, alliteration, meter, and stanza. View the entire Poodle level here.

A key method of Michael Clay Thompson in teaching poetics is to get students to vocalize the sounds of letters and words. Watch a video clip of him showing teachers how to do this.

For a complete overview of the MCT language arts curriculum, go to the Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum page.

To watch a video about the poetics program that includes Michael discussing the importance of poetry and poetics, click here.

Michael Clay Thompson Classroom Packages
We have made special packages of the curriculum available to help make ordering easier and to save you money: School Packages

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Books in this series

Poodle Knows Poetry Student Book

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay; Tice, Christopher (Illustrator)

Subjects: Language Arts; Grammar; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 6, 7, 8, 9

Grade: 1, 2, 3

Pages: 129

ISBN: 978-0-88092-926-4

Order code: 9264

Price: $45.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $26.00 each.
Order code: 9264S

Poodle Knows Poetry Student Book Cover

Poodle Knows Poetry is the third book in the Poodle series. Children who befriended Poodle the chicken and his friends What? and Sidney in the first two books will be delighted to discover them again as Poodle explains the fundamentals of poetic devices to his surprised (and ornery!) author.

Poodle begins the story alone after having left the Blue Mountain. Eventually the author is talked into writing his best friend What? the beagle into the book, and ultimately they are joined by Sidney, the world's fastest snail, but not before a few new characters join the cast and Poodle teaches us some of the most important techniques used in writing poetry. The brilliance of the book, however, is that Michael has written these poetic devices into nearly every line so that prose and poetry become almost indistinguishable.

Throughout the story, we both learn about and see in action the importance of sound and meter, including various kinds of rhyme, assonance, consonance, alliteration, iambic tetrameter and trimeter, and ballad stanzas. Poodle professes to be a poet, and although he successfully puts his money where his beak is, the author is a pretty sneaky player as well, filling the story with the very poetic techniques that he claims never to have heard of (you can't trust authors).

Again in this book the fourth wall is broken as the author and Poodle discuss and debate both poetic devices and the plot of the story, and again Maybe the mouse breaks into the scene occasionally to remind everyone that this is not just a story; it's a play, and they'd best get their parts right. The book operates at several different levels, all as the drama unfolds around both a lurking monster and an ominous storm brewing in the distance.

Michael sprinkles the story liberally with literary references, from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet to Thoreau's Walden, to Melville, Cervantes, Homer, Robert Burns, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Wallace Stevens. The characters actually meet Long John Silver aboard his pirate ship and Alice and the white rabbit in Wonderland as the author (a devious sort of fellow) yanks them from one scene to another. There are even references to Bob Marley, Bobby Day, and Lawrence of Arabia! (Perhaps the author is mad?)

Poodle Knows Poetry is gorgeously illustrated by artist Christopher Tice (it is arguably some of Chris's best work yet) and features QR codes that link to audio of Michael narrating the story, which is a bonus that no one, no matter of what age, will want to miss. Between Michael and Chris, the book is practically a living entity, brought to life with color and sound in ways that are rarely achieved in a printed work. And don't forget that children will actually learn from it (it's easy to forget that, we know)!

Poodle Knows Poetry is the third book in the Poodle series. Children who befriended Poodle the chicken and his friends What? and Sidney in the first two books will be delighted to discover them again as Poodle explains the fundamentals of poetic devices to his surprised (and ornery!) author.

Poodle begins the story alone after having left the Blue Mountain. Eventually the author is talked into writing his best friend What? the beagle into the book, and ultimately they are joined by Sidney, the world's fastest snail, but not before a few new characters join the cast and Poodle teaches us some of the most important techniques used in writing poetry. The brilliance of the book, however, is that Michael has written these poetic devices into nearly every line so that prose and poetry become almost indistinguishable.

Throughout the story, we both learn about and see in action the importance of sound and meter, including various kinds of rhyme, assonance, consonance, alliteration, iambic tetrameter and trimeter, and ballad stanzas. Poodle professes to be a poet, and although he successfully puts his money where his beak is, the author is a pretty sneaky player as well, filling the story with the very poetic techniques that he claims never to have heard of (you can't trust authors).

Again in this book the fourth wall is broken as the author and Poodle discuss and debate both poetic devices and the plot of the story, and again Maybe the mouse breaks into the scene occasionally to remind everyone that this is not just a story; it's a play, and they'd best get their parts right. The book operates at several different levels, all as the drama unfolds around both a lurking monster and an ominous storm brewing in the distance.

Michael sprinkles the story liberally with literary references, from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet to Thoreau's Walden, to Melville, Cervantes, Homer, Robert Burns, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Wallace Stevens. The characters actually meet Long John Silver aboard his pirate ship and Alice and the white rabbit in Wonderland as the author (a devious sort of fellow) yanks them from one scene to another. There are even references to Bob Marley, Bobby Day, and Lawrence of Arabia! (Perhaps the author is mad?)

Poodle Knows Poetry is gorgeously illustrated by artist Christopher Tice (it is arguably some of Chris's best work yet) and features QR codes that link to audio of Michael narrating the story, which is a bonus that no one, no matter of what age, will want to miss. Between Michael and Chris, the book is practically a living entity, brought to life with color and sound in ways that are rarely achieved in a printed work. And don't forget that children will actually learn from it (it's easy to forget that, we know)!

Poodle Knows Poetry Student Book Cover

Poodle Knows Poetry Student Book Sample Pages:

Poodle Knows Poetry Instructor Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay; Tice, Christopher (Illustrator)

Subjects: Language Arts; Grammar; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Pages: 134

ISBN: 978-0-88092-927-1

Order code: 9271

Price: $50.00
Website price: $35.00

Poodle Knows Poetry Instructor Manual Cover

The Poodle Knows Poetry instructor manual contains the full text of the student book, as well as special boxes and bubbles filled with information that instructors can share with the children to enhance their learning. In addition to providing answers to the end-of-chapter quizzes, the book also includes an instructor section, where Michael makes a case for the importance of poetry and an understanding of poetic devices, explores the fundamental concepts within the book, and explains his ideas for implementation to ensure that young readers come away from the text with a new respect for both the seriousness and the whimsy of language.

The Poodle Knows Poetry instructor manual contains the full text of the student book, as well as special boxes and bubbles filled with information that teachers can share with the students to enhance their learning. In addition to providing answers to the end-of-chapter quizzes, the book also includes an instructor section, where Michael makes a case for the importance of poetry and an understanding of poetic devices, explores the fundamental concepts within the book, and explains his ideas for implementation to ensure that young readers come away from the text with a new respect for both the seriousness and the whimsy of language.

Poodle Knows Poetry Instructor Manual Cover

Poodle Knows Poetry Instructor Manual Sample Pages:

The Music of the Hemispheres: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Grade: 3, 4

Pages: 144

ISBN: 978-0-89824-672-8

Order code: 6728

Price: $40.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $25.00 each.
Order code: 6728S

The Music of the Hemispheres: Student Book Cover

The Music of the Hemispheres is Michael Clay Thompson's introduction to poetics for young children. In this beautiful book, which features extraordinary graphics that call attention to the points being made in the text, children learn that the sounds of words are an important component to good writing. Chapters cover the basics of rhyme, alliteration, meter, stanza, and similes and metaphors. These elements are illustrated through poems by such notable poets as Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns, William Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, John Keats, William Wordsworth, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as original works by Michael himself. This book is a wonderful way to foster an early appreciation for poetry in children.

As a special feature, this book contains QR codes that link to audio of Michael reading the poems.

The Music of the Hemispheres is Michael Clay Thompson's introduction to poetics for young children. In this beautiful book, which features extraordinary graphics that call attention to the points being made in the text, children learn that the sounds of words are an important component to good writing. Chapters cover the basics of rhyme, alliteration, meter, stanza, and similes and metaphors. These elements are illustrated through poems by such notable poets as Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns, William Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, John Keats, William Wordsworth, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as original works by Michael himself. This book is a wonderful way to foster an early appreciation for poetry in children.

As a special feature, this book contains QR codes that link to audio of Michael reading the poems.

The Music of the Hemispheres: Student Book Cover

Music of the Hemispheres Student Book Sample Pages:

Audio clip

The Music of the Hemispheres: Instructor Manual

Subtitle: Third Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Pages: 151

ISBN: 978-0-88092-774-1

Order code: 7741

Price: $45.00
Website price: $35.00

The Music of the Hemispheres: Instructor Manual Cover

The instructor manual for The Music of the Hemispheres includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, a pre- and post-test with answer keys, a review quiz, and study poems for in-depth examination with the child.

As a special feature, this book contains QR codes that link to audio of Michael reading the poems.

NOTE: This book is compatible with the SECOND EDITION of The Music of the Hemispheres student book.

The instructor manual for The Music of the Hemispheres includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, a pre- and post-test with answer keys, a review quiz, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

As a special feature, this book contains QR codes that link to audio of Michael reading the poems.

NOTE: This book is compatible with the SECOND EDITION of The Music of the Hemispheres student book.

The Music of the Hemispheres: Instructor Manual Cover

Music of the Hemispheres Instructor Manual Sample Pages:

Building Poems: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 9, 10, 11

Grade: 4, 5

ISBN: 978-0-89824-708-4

Order code: 7084

Price: $40.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $25.00 each.
Order code: 7084S

Building Poems: Student Book Cover

Building Poems, the second book of Michael Clay Thompson's poetics series, uses architecture as an extended metaphor, showing that poems are constructed like buildings, with careful attention to every detail. Like the metaphor itself, the book is constructed so that it beautifully illustrates the points made by reinforcing them visually. 

This book takes the same basic topics that were introduced in The Music of the Hemispheres and expands upon them, adding new elements. It includes alliteration, assonance, consonance, end rhyme, rhyme scheme, internal rhyme, eye-rhyme, poetic feet, iambs, trochees, anapests, dactyls, spondees, sonnets, ballads, rime royal, limericks, similes, metaphors, personification, apostrophe, and endstopped versus enjambed lines.

These elements are exhibited in the poems of famous poets such as Lewis Carroll, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Keats, Edward Lear, Walt Whitman, Lord Byron, Robert Frost, Henry Longfellow, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Shakespeare, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The book enables students to understand and appreciate poetry on a far higher level than usual. It can be used as a stand-alone introduction to poetry for young students or to set the stage for a more advanced program in middle or high school.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Building Poems, the second book of Michael Clay Thompson's poetics series, uses architecture as an extended metaphor, showing that poems are constructed like buildings, with careful attention to every detail. Like the metaphor itself, the book is constructed so that it beautifully illustrates the points made by reinforcing them visually. 

This book takes the same basic topics that were introduced in The Music of the Hemispheres and expands upon them, adding new elements. It includes alliteration, assonance, consonance, end rhyme, rhyme scheme, internal rhyme, eye-rhyme, poetic feet, iambs, trochees, anapests, dactyls, spondees, sonnets, ballads, rime royal, limericks, similes, metaphors, personification, apostrophe, and endstopped versus enjambed lines. 

These elements are exhibited in the poems of famous poets such as Lewis Carroll, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Keats, Edward Lear, Walt Whitman, Lord Byron, Robert Frost, Henry Longfellow, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Shakespeare, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The book enables students to understand and appreciate poetry on a far higher level than usual. It can be used as a stand-alone introduction to poetry for young students or to set the stage for a more advanced program in middle or high school.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Building Poems: Student Book Cover

Building Poems Student Book Sample Pages:

Building Poems: Teacher Manual

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

ISBN: 978-0-89824-709-1

Order code: 7091

Price: $45.00
Website price: $35.00

Building Poems: Teacher Manual Cover

The Building Poems teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, a pre- and post-test with answer keys, a review quiz, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The Building Poems teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, a pre- and post-test with answer keys, a review quiz, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Building Poems: Teacher Manual Cover

Building Poems Teacher Manual Sample Pages:

A World of Poetry: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 10, 11, 12

Grade: 5, 6

ISBN: 978-0-88092-706-2

Order code: 7062

Price: $40.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $25.00 each.
Order code: 7062S

A World of Poetry: Student Book Cover

A World of Poetry builds on the first two books in the MCT poetics program but goes even further into the details of good poetry. This volume is built on comparisons of poetic and scientific observations of nature and the world around us. As with the other poetics books, the design of this book has been meticulously attended to so that it highlights the points in the text with beautiful and interesting visuals.

Among the featured topics are alliteration, assonance, consonance, end-stopped versus enjambed lines, end rhyme, rhyme scheme, internal rhyme, eye-rhyme, near rhyme, poetic feet, iambs, trochees, dactyls, spondees, amphibrachs, amphimacers, pyrrhics, Shakespearan sonnets, Petrarchan sonnets, ballads, rime royal, limericks, haiku, similes, metaphors, personification, apostrophes, and the grammar of poetry. 

There are many poems in the book that illustrate the poetic elements discussed, including ones by T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.E. Houseman, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Anne Sexton, Thomas Hardy, Edgar Allen Poe, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, Emma Lazarus, Sylvia Plath, and Basho Matsuo.

A World of Poetry, like the poetics books that lead up to it (The Music of the Hemispheres and Building Poems) allows students to see that the common stereotypes about poetry—that it is comprised only of pretty poems for girls—are unfounded. This text can be used as a stand-alone introduction to poetry or as a foundation for more advanced study in poetics.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

A World of Poetry builds on the first two books in the MCT poetics program but goes even further into the details of good poetry. This volume is built on comparisons of poetic and scientific observations of nature and the world around us. As with the other poetics books, the design of this book has been meticulously attended to so that it highlights the points in the text with beautiful and interesting visuals.

Among the featured topics are alliteration, assonance, consonance, end-stopped versus enjambed lines, end rhyme, rhyme scheme, internal rhyme, eye-rhyme, near rhyme, poetic feet, iambs, trochees, dactyls, spondees, amphibrachs, amphimacers, pyrrhics, Shakespearan sonnets, Petrarchan sonnets, ballads, rime royal, limericks, haiku, similes, metaphors, personification, apostrophes, and the grammar of poetry. 

There are many poems in the book that illustrate the poetic elements discussed, including ones by T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.E. Houseman, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Anne Sexton, Thomas Hardy, Edgar Allen Poe, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, Emma Lazarus, Sylvia Plath, and Basho Matsuo.

A World of Poetry, like the poetics books that lead up to it (The Music of the Hemispheres and Building Poems) allows students to see that the common stereotypes about poetry—that it is comprised only of pretty poems for girls—are unfounded. This text can be used as a stand-alone introduction to poetry or as a foundation for more advanced study in poetics.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

A World of Poetry: Student Book Cover

A World of Poetry Student Book Sample Pages:

A World of Poetry: Teacher Manual

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

ISBN: 978-0-88092-707-9

Order code: 7079

Price: $45.00
Website price: $35.00

A World of Poetry: Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual for A World of Poetry includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, a pre- and post-test with answer keys, a review test, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The teacher manual for A World of Poetry includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, a pre- and post-test with answer keys, a review test, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

A World of Poetry: Teacher Manual Cover

A World of Poetry Teacher Manual Sample Pages:

The Poetry of Literature: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 6, 7, 8

ISBN: 978-0-89824-876-0

Order code: 8760

Price: $30.00
Website price: $20.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $18.00 each.
Order code: 8760S

The Poetry of Literature: Student Book Cover

The Poetry of Literature is unique among the poetics books written by Michael Clay Thompson. Unlike those, which naturally focus on the poetics of poetry, this book shows how the great novelists of English and American classics used poetic devices in their prose writing. Michael provides abundant examples of their use, many pulled from the novels in the trilogies of this curriculum. Among the devices he explores are how the novelists used silence, rhythm and meter, alliteration, assonance and consonance, and stopped consonants—all of which have been studied in the earlier poetics books: The Music of the Hemispheres, Building Poems, and A World of Poetry.

These concepts will come as no great surprise to any student who has completed the previous levels of the curriculum with the accompanying literary trilogies. But for anyone else, this book will be an eye-opening experience. The illustrations are full pages from the novels with the poetic devices highlighted. Seen in the context of a full page, it is readily apparent how easy it is for even careful readers to miss the poetics that are hidden in plain sight.

The novelists featured in the book are Herman Melville, Kenneth Grahame, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, James M. Barrie, Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edith Wharton, George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The poetics strand of the MCT language arts curriculum is one of its great strengths and a source of beauty and joy for many students. The Poetry of Literature is so powerful an addition to the poetics strand that every student should read it, even those who have finished the curriculum or who have advanced beyond this level. It is a book not to be missed—both by students and by parents.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The Poetry of Literature is unique among the poetics books written by Michael Clay Thompson. Unlike those, which naturally focus on the poetics of poetry, this book shows how the great novelists of English and American classics used poetic devices in their prose writing. Michael provides abundant examples of their use, many pulled from the novels in the trilogies of this curriculum. Among the devices he explores are how the novelists used silence, rhythm and meter, alliteration, assonance and consonance, and stopped consonants—all of which have been studied in the earlier poetics books: The Music of the HemispheresBuilding Poemsand A World of Poetry.

These concepts will come as no great surprise to any student who has completed the previous levels of the curriculum with the accompanying literary trilogies. But for anyone else, this book will be an eye-opening experience. The illustrations are full pages from the novels with the poetic devices highlighted. Seen in the context of a full page, it is readily apparent how easy it is for even careful readers to miss the poetics that are hidden in plain sight.

The novelists featured in the book are Herman Melville, Kenneth Grahame, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, James M. Barrie, Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edith Wharton, George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The poetics strand of the MCT language arts curriculum is one of its great strengths and a source of beauty and joy for many students. The Poetry of Literature is so powerful an addition to the poetics strand that every student should read it, even those who have finished the curriculum or who have advanced beyond this level. It is a book not to be missed—both by students and by teachers.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The Poetry of Literature: Student Book Cover

The Poetry of Literature Student Book Sample Pages:

The Poetry of Literature: Teacher Manual

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

ISBN: 978-0-89824-877-7

Order code: 8777

Price: $35.00
Website price: $25.00

The Poetry of Literature: Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual for The Poetry of Literature includes the full text of the student book plus instructions for its implementation, as well as answers to the practice pages that allow students to try their hand at identifying poetic elements in pages of famous novels.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The teacher manual for The Poetry of Literature includes the full text of the student book plus instructions for its implementation, as well as answers to the practice pages that allow students to try their hand at identifying poetic elements in pages of famous novels.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The Poetry of Literature: Teacher Manual Cover

The Poetry of Literature Teacher Manual Sample Pages:

Poetry and Humanity: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 5, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-263-8

Order code: 2638

Price: $40.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $25.00 each.
Order code: 2638S

Poetry and Humanity: Student Book Cover

Poetry and Humanity develops and expands the MCT poetics program and is built on a theme of understanding humanity and our existence. It shows how poets push language to its maximum in order to express those things about humanity that are most true, or difficult, or subtle. Longer and more challenging poems are used as examples.

All of the topics from the previous volumes are included in this one, but more advanced techniques are also explored. These include advanced rhymes such as half-double rhyme, elided rhyme, amphisbaenic rhyme, reverse rhyme, and apophany; advanced meters, from monometer to octameter; complex stanza forms, such as heroic couplets, terza rima, villanelles, quintets, sestets, octets, and submerged sonnets; and more involved figures of speech, including metonymy, synecdoche, and oxymorons. 

The poems featured in the book are by such immortal poets as Thomas Hardy, William Blake, William Shakespeare, Henry Longfellow, Algernon Swinburne, William Butler Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Burns, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Shelley, William Cowper, Thomas Wyatt, William Wordsworth, and G.K. Chesterton.

Like he has done with the other poetics books in this series, Michael beautifully illustrates the idea that poetry is not an art for the elite only. There are poems for everyone, and they can be lovely, or gritty, or heartbreaking, or amusing. And the best of them contain elements that make them memorable as well.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry and Humanity develops and expands the MCT poetics program and is built on a theme of understanding humanity and our existence. It shows how poets push language to its maximum in order to express those things about humanity that are most true, or difficult, or subtle. Longer and more challenging poems are used as examples.

All of the topics from the previous volumes are included in this one, but more advanced techniques are also explored. These include advanced rhymes such as half-double rhyme, elided rhyme, amphisbaenic rhyme, reverse rhyme, and apophany; advanced meters, from monometer to octameter; complex stanza forms, such as heroic couplets, terza rima, villanelles, quintets, sestets, octets, and submerged sonnets; and more involved figures of speech, including metonymy, synecdoche, and oxymorons. 

The poems featured in the book are by such immortal poets as Thomas Hardy, William Blake, William Shakespeare, Henry Longfellow, Algernon Swinburne, William Butler Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Burns, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Shelley, William Cowper, Thomas Wyatt, William Wordsworth, and G.K. Chesterton.

Like he has done with the other poetics books in this series, Michael beautifully illustrates the idea that poetry is not an art for the elite only. There are poems for everyone, and they can be lovely, or gritty, or heartbreaking, or amusing. And the best of them contain elements that make them memorable as well.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry and Humanity: Student Book Cover

Poetry and Humanity Student Book Sample Pages:

Poetry and Humanity: Teacher Manual

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

ISBN: 978-0-88092-231-9

Order code: 2319

Price: $45.00
Website price: $35.00

Poetry and Humanity: Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual for Poetry and Humanity includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, answers to the exercises, a review test, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The teacher manual for Poetry and Humanity includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, answers to the exercises, a review test, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry and Humanity: Teacher Manual Cover

Poetry and Humanity Teacher Manual Sample Pages:

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-726-8

Order code: 7268

Price: $40.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $25.00 each.
Order code: 7268S

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty: Student Book Cover

Using Plato's Dialogues and Socratic questioning as a source of ideas and a way of thinking about the complex problem of beauty, the sixth volume in the acclaimed poetics program by Michael Clay Thompson continues the study of poetic techniques and poems. It is a wonderfully illustrated, thought-provoking, and challenging addition to the series and, like the other volumes, can also stand alone.

Is beauty relative? Is it a mystery? Poetry helps us look at these questions.

As with the other books in the series, Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty provides an in-depth, detailed exploration of sound, meter, stanza, and figures of speech. Students are asked to explore further such concepts as the complex world of technique and the Socratic paradox: "I only know that I know nothing." The book contains numerous quotations from Plato and Aristotle.

The poems of many of the most illustrious poets are featured in this book, including Thomas Gray, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, John Milton, e.e. cummings, Sylvia Plath, Ralph Hodgson, Herman Melville, John Keats, William Butler Yeats, Ben Jonson, Robinson Jeffers, Christina Rossetti, and William Wordsworth.

Students will come away from this book with a profound understanding of the illusive nature of beauty and the many ways in which poets have explored it through poetry.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Using Plato's Dialogues and Socratic questioning as a source of ideas and a way of thinking about the complex problem of beauty, the sixth volume in the acclaimed poetics program by Michael Clay Thompson continues the study of poetic techniques and poems. It is a wonderfully illustrated, thought-provoking, and challenging addition to the series and, like the other volumes, can also stand alone.

Is beauty relative? Is it a mystery? Poetry helps us look at these questions.

As with the other books in the series, Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty provides an in-depth, detailed exploration of sound, meter, stanza, and figures of speech. Students are asked to explore further such concepts as the complex world of technique and the Socratic paradox: "I only know that I know nothing." The book contains numerous quotations from Plato and Aristotle.

The poems of many of the most illustrious poets are featured in this book, including Thomas Gray, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, John Milton, e.e. cummings, Sylvia Plath, Ralph Hodgson, Herman Melville, John Keats, William Butler Yeats, Ben Jonson, Robinson Jeffers, Christina Rossetti, and William Wordsworth.

Students will come away from this book with a profound understanding of the illusive nature of beauty and the many ways in which poets have explored it through poetry.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty: Student Book Cover

Poetry, Plato, Beauty Student Book Sample Pages:

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty: Teacher Manual

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

ISBN: 978-0-88092-727-5

Order code: 7275

Price: $45.00
Website price: $35.00

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty: Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual for Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, answers to the exercises, and a review test.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The teacher manual for Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, answers to the exercises, and a review test.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty: Teacher Manual Cover

Poetry, Plato, Beauty Teacher Manual Sample Pages:

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth: Student Book

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

Age: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-846-3

Order code: 8463

Price: $40.00
Website price: $30.00

Class sets: 25 or more: $25.00 each.
Order code: 8463S

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth: Student Book Cover

The final volume in the poetics program by Michael Clay Thompson continues the study of poetic techniques and poems and takes them to an even higher level. Using Plato's Dialogues and Socratic questioning as a source of ideas and a way of thinking about the concept of truth, students are led to consider the difficult question that has absorbed philosophers, scientists, artists, and poets throughout time: What is the nature of truth?

Many poems deal with the concept of truth. Great poems that stand the test of time express, at their core, something that is true. Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth looks at the truth of sound, meter, and stanza and at figures of speech that explore truth through comparison. The elements discussed include everything in the previous volumes of the poetics strand, as well as the most advanced techniques that poets use when constructing their poems.

The book features poems by great poets such as Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Sir Walter Scott, Edmund Spenser, Edgar Allen Poe, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The truth can be slippery, and students who complete this book will come away with an advanced sense of how poets have explored the concept of truth through their poetry.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The final volume in the poetics program by Michael Clay Thompson continues the study of poetic techniques and poems and takes them to an even higher level. Using Plato's Dialogues and Socratic questioning as a source of ideas and a way of thinking about the concept of truth, students are led to consider the difficult question that has absorbed philosophers, scientists, artists, and poets throughout time: What is the nature of truth?

Many poems deal with the concept of truth. Great poems that stand the test of time express, at their core, something that is true. Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth looks at the truth of sound, meter, and stanza and at figures of speech that explore truth through comparison. The elements discussed include everything in the previous volumes of the poetics strand, as well as the most advanced techniques that poets use when constructing their poems.

The book features poems by great poets such as Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Sir Walter Scott, Edmund Spenser, Edgar Allen Poe, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The truth can be slippery, and students who complete this book will come away with an advanced sense of how poets have explored the concept of truth through their poetry.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth: Student Book Cover

Poetry, Plato, Truth Student Book Sample Pages:

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth: Teacher Manual

Subtitle: Second Edition

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; MCT Curriculum; Poetics

ISBN: 978-0-89824-847-0

Order code: 8470

Price: $45.00
Website price: $35.00

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth: Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual for Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, answers to the exercises, a review test, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

The teacher manual for Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain tips and further questions for the instructor, activities for further study, suggestions for implementing the student book, answers to the exercises, a review test, and study poems for in-depth examination with the students.

Note: New to the second edition of this book are QR codes that link to audio of Michael Clay Thompson himself reading the poems in the book.

Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth: Teacher Manual Cover

Poetry, Plato, Truth Teacher Manual Sample Pages:

Romeo and Juliet: The Poetry of the Prologue

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Shakespeare; Exclusive iBook; Poetics

iBook price: $2.99

Buy this iBook

Romeo and Juliet: The Poetry of the Prologue Cover

As an English sonnet, the Prologue to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is only fourteen lines long, but Michael Clay Thompson believes that by itself it demonstrates the “astounding inventiveness of Shakespeare.” The more you look, the more you see and hear—and the more you understand the techniques of sound, meter, and rhyme that great poets use.

This book is available as an iBook only.

Romeo and Juliet: The Poetry of the Prologue Cover

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