Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love by Ashanti

In Ashanti’s first sentence, she lets readers know that she writes poetry and reflections in a journal, and has for a very long time. In her words, “I’d come up with an idea at a club or in the car waiting for a friend and as soon as I’d get home I’d write it in my book as poetry.” The positive messages about writing and reflection abound in the introduction, making it clear that this is more than just another collection of poetry. Each poem included in the book is preceded by a personal story that lets the reader know exactly what Ashanti was going through at the time of writing. Poems are often followed with a written reflection and an update on where the poem may have gone -- sometimes they became lyrics in her hit songs. While the poems are all quite literal, and the stories almost exclusively about love and relationships, students can relate to the poems and their context. This is a great tool for connecting aspiring writers with a true success story. Ashanti may not be the hottest singer on the radio right now, but not so long ago she was, and students definitely know her name. It’s refreshing to read that she writes her own material, and it all started in journal entries at the young age of thirteen. This is another great choice for students looking for love poetry, with a little inspirational writing on the side.

Ashanti. Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love. New York: Hyperion, 2002.

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