From Tongue to Text
The connection between childhood and poetry runs deep. Drawing on Walter Ong's theory of orality and on Iain McGilchrist's work on brain function, this book develops a new theoretical framework for the study of children's poetry. From Tongue to Text argues that the poem is a multimodal form that exists in the borderlands between the world of experience and the world of language and between orality and literacy – places that children themselves inhabit. Engaging with a wide range of poetry from nursery rhymes and Christina Rossetti to Michael Rosen and Carol Ann Duffy, I demonstrate how these 'tactful' works are shaped by the dynamics of orality and textuality.
What reviewers said …
“This book is a rather thrilling call to take poetry for children seriously – that is, not earnestly, but with an appetite to see its fullest implications. Unafraid to engage with theory, the argument is anything but cerebral. Rather, it leads the mind back to the body, to its play and humour and its tactile wrestling with experience. Almost incidentally, it opens up the possibility that this approach illuminates all poetry, for any age, and that children's poetry might be not a marginal art but the key”
Philip Gross, Professor of Creative Writing, Course leader, MPhil in Writing, University of South Glamorgan
“This is the first extensive theoretical exploration of that most intractable area of literary studies, poetry for children, and it should be essential reading for everyone in the field of children's literature… it draws on a remarkable range of literary and linguistic theory to produce, a new way of reading and of understanding the genre: 'the idea of a fully engaged sort of criticism.' From Tongue to Text is that rare thing: a book which marks an important step in critical thinking, and which is readable and accessible, and which above all is original”
Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus in Children's Literature, Cardiff University, UK.
- Pullinger, D. & Whitley, D. (2016) Beyond Measure: The Value of a Memorised Poem. Changing English. Special Issue on 'The Uses of Poetry'. 23(4)
- Pullinger, D. (2014) Poetry Recitation: tradition, terms and conditions. Writing in Education. 63
- Pullinger, D. (2014) Infinity and Beyond: The Poetic List in Children's Poetry. Children's Literature in Education. 46(3)
- Pullinger, D. & Whitley, D. (2103) Sounding Sense: the Place, Problems and Potential of Performance in Poetry. Changing English. 20(2)
- Pullinger, D. (2012). In Living Memory: The Dying Art of Poetry Learning and a Case for Revival. Changing English. 19(4)
- Pullinger, D. (2013) Ragtag Rhymes: A Tale From the Resistance. Book 2.0 2(1–2).
- Pullinger, D. (2012). Mind Reading: Thinking About Children’s Poetry. In Bridget Carrington & Jennifer Harding (Eds.) It Doesn’t Have to Rhyme. Lichfield: Pied Piper.