Leave This Song Behind: Teen Poetry at Its Best

Leave This Song Behind: Teen Poetry at Its Best


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It's been 10 years since the last book in the Teen Ink series Written in the Dirt was published. Now, a whole new batch of teen writers has emerged with their own unique voices. Leave This Song Behind features the best poetry submitted by those writers to Teen Ink over the last five years.

The pieces in this book were chosen because they were so powerful that they stood out from the rest. Teen Ink editors took a deep look into each poem's strengths then divided Leave This Song Behind into seven sections based on the poetic techniques or qualities that moved them most. Vivid sensory details made some poems shine; others caught their attention with simple, sparse language. Still others were chosen because of their thoughtful use of form; compelling stories; strong figurative language; unexpected connections and wit; and fresh writing about familiar topics.

Dig in and let these brave young voices capture your heart and mind with their passion, their pain, and their amazing poetry!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757318962
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/26/2016
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 699,986
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Adam Halwitz, Teen Ink's book development editor, joined the magazine's staff in 2007. As an intern and later an assistant editor, he's read and evaluated thousands of teens' poetry submissions. He graduated from Marlboro College in 2014 with a degree in philosophy and writing. John Meyer, with his wife, Stephanie, founded the nonprofit Young Authors Foundation, which publishes TeenInk.com and Teen Ink, the national monthly print magazine that has showcased the work of 65,000 teens since 1989. Stephanie Meyer, with her husband, John, founded the nonprofit Young Authors Foundation, which publishes TeenInk.com and Teen Ink, the national monthly print magazine that has showcased the work of 65,000 teens since 1989. Cindy W. Spertner, associate editor, has been working for Teen Ink magazine for seven years. With a background in education and an MA in writing and publishing from Emerson College, she is thrilled to be immersed in great writing and helping to make a positive difference in the lives of teens.

Read an Excerpt

She liked to sit in the backyard
And watch the neighbor's laundry
Swing on the clothesline, crisp pale
Blue button-downs of the husband
Wrinkling in the half-wind, Summer
Sighing across the silky surface of
The twisting sundress, first one way,
Then the other, like soft hips
Swinging, one way, then the
Other, and when they were just
Washed and still wet they would
Flap and flick beads into the grass
That would flash fast down like
Little silver raindrops, one way,
Then the other.
—Ariel Miller

the fat rope of tea
from the pot
to my mug
and the icicles all in a row
bulbs sit on the windowsill
waiting for spring
and I find an envelope
with pressed bluebells
from that day
you tucked them behind my ear
and ran your fingers through my hair
and when I got home
I pressed them in a dusty cookbook
letting them hold their fragile beauty longer
than the other sprigs it grew with
lucky them
I saved them
so I wouldn't forget
that you could be sweet
when you wanted
and even now they still haven't lost their scent
—Indigo Erlenborn

sometimes she makes me want to tense the tendons on my neck and send my head smashing into my keyboard and maybe my skin and bones would, as they snapped and fractured, hit just the right keys and type a jumbled ode to beauty and wealth, forgotten forever when the circuits spark and smoke and the little copper nodes on the hard drive dig into my eyebrow and its brittle white plastic shell snaps and splinters
—Charles C. Siler

More Summer
Oh summer is the
Damp fold of
Thin cotton skirt
Bleached bare
Salt powdered
Thick white
Over cherry-pie
And the Wind's
Lank fingers
Dripping cold
Whitecap kisses
Slick scalp
And along each
—Claire Weaver-Zeman

Year of the Dragon
The ginger on your plate smelled feebly of the rain last summer when
your parents visited weekly with smiles on their faces showing the kind of solidarity
even you dared to expect during this
roughest of times—
but they couldn't convince you of your
right to worth and you
never wandered back to that light down
by the river
where all the magic happened before you swallowed the bullet and slit your noose
and you fell out of love with life
in all honesty, everything died with your
first drops of blood kissing
linoleum, staining your heartstrings and straining the surface of water left
in everyone's chest after a meal with
that bitch—guilt
and while the ginger between the delicate rows of fish
stank of the bygone
songs, the lyrics like rotting carcasses
with just enough light left
in the eyes to make you believe for even
a minute
that there is any sweet melancholy left,
the wasabi
cleansed the air with the odor of iodine
and the tea smelled like a gunshot
—Miriam Himelstein

©2016 The Young Authors Foundation, Inc., d/b/a/ Teen Ink. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Leave This Song Behind: Teen Poetry at Its Best. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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