60 pages 2 hours read

Sharon Creech

Love That Dog

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | Middle Grade | Published in 2001

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Pages 1-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Pages 1-9 Summary

Jack, a young boy in Miss Stretchberry’s class, opens his journal by insisting that only girls write poetry. For the first few weeks, he refuses to engage with his lessons. The first poem Jack considers is William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow,” but he doesn’t understand what makes it a real poem as the lines are too short and don’t rhyme.

Jack begrudgingly writes a poem on the condition that Miss Stretchberry not post it on the class board. Using the same structure and meter as Williams’s poem, he writes about “a blue car / splattered with mud / speeding down the road” (4). Jack becomes defensive when asked about the blue car’s significance.

The class reads Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and William Blake’s “The Tiger.” Jack doesn’t understand the poems’ literal meaning but increasingly appreciates their rhythm and sounds.

Pages 1-9 Analysis

Jack’s first poem clearly responds to a teacher’s instructions: “I don’t want to / because boys / don’t write poetry. / Girls do” (1). This entry establishes his attitude toward poetry.