J. Patrick Lewis, U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, and Jane Yolen, epic children’s writer of everything,?must write about four books per day–all of them awesome. I recently received two of Pat’s books, and last Sunday, I made a mug of orange mandarin tea and snuggled in for?a good read: Take Two! A Celebration of Twins (Candlewick, 2012), by Pat Lewis and Jane Yolen. Individually, they’ve written some of my absolutely favorite poetry collections, and they collaborated on last year’s Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers: The Life of Marc Chagall in Verse, a fascinating collection that was a Cybils finalist in the Poetry category.
This sizable collection is divided into four sections: Twins in the Waiting Womb, Twinfants, How To Be One, and Famous Twins. Every section had great poems, but my favorite section was How To Be One.?It was snowing?Post-It notes in those pages as I tried to decide which poem to share. There were plenty of poems celebrating twinniness, but also some about the struggles of it. Those were some of the ones that really spoke to me (even though I’m not a twin). Here’s one I love.
More Than One
Most times two is more than one:
More giggles, laughs,
and MUCH more fun.
Can prove wrong,
And two can make a day seem long
With turns to take and compromises
And never any real surprises.
Sometimes, sometimes–I think I’d like
My twin to take a long, long hike
Or ride away upon her bike
And leave me by myself a day,
Until that feeling goes away.
(by Jane Yolen, all rights reserved
from Take Two!, by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen)
The book doesn’t identify which poet wrote which poem (unlike their previous collaboration), which I don’t like. In Self-Portrait, it was fun to compare and contrast their contributions. But this also felt like a more seamless collaboration. I?wondered if they each wrote separate poems or if there was more joint creation going on…
Addendum: I just wasn’t observant enough. Both Pat and Jane kindly let me know that the authorship of each poem is specified on the dedication page! Yay! I look forward to going back and parsing out who did what. The above poem is by Jane. I’m going to share a second poem, one by Pat, next week. I wanted to share two poems initially, but I thought if they both were by the same poet, I’d feel bad. Now I know the other favorite I wanted to share is by Pat, so I’m just gonna do two Poetry Fridays in a row of this book!
Finally, in addition to a ton of poems filled with love, disgust, impatience, silliness, and poignancy,?the collection includes some twin trivia, including some downright terrifying facts. Did you know that the record for the longest time between a pair of twins being born was 95 days? Or that the heaviest twins at birth were 27 pounds, 12 ounces and 13 pounds, 12 ounces? Do you think they were actually triplets and that first kid ate one of his siblings in utero? Ack!
Twin or not, you’ll see yourself in this collection.
Dori at Dori Reads has the Poetry Friday Roundup today! And she also has an interview with me for her Poetry Friday post:>) Thanks, Dori!