What it is: Uncensored, untouched, raw and real poetry by the usually silent half of the teenage population–guys. Editor and mom Betsy Franco decided early on that she wouldn’t try to push these poems into “themes” or “meanings,” but let them speak for themselves. And do they ever! There’s rash, brash, tender and moving poetry here from guys of all ages and from all over.
What it ain’t: Completely G-rated. You may stumble upon a few, umm, maturely themed poems. This may be great, or terrible, depending on your age and point of view!
Who will like it: Guys who swear they hate poetry and can’t understand it, and the girls who love them. <
A Sample: An untitled piece by Marcel Mendoza, age 16: Just because I love darkness/Doesn’t mean I’m depressed/Doesn’t mean I can’t love/Doesn’t mean I’m blind./Just because I love my Mom/Doesn’t mean I’m not a rebel/Doesn’t mean I can’t love others/Doesn’t mean I’m a mama’s boy./Just because I act psycho/Doesn’t mean I need medication/Doesn’t mean I can’t be compassionate/Doesn’t mean I don’t cry./
One thought on “You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys edited by Betsy Franco”
I bought this book a couple years ago. I read though the entire thing that day. But it didn’t stop there. I continued to read it over and over again, because the poems in it reflect on my life so much, and they really help me understand that other people struggle too. They help me cope, even though I don’t even like poetry.