It's the Sound of the Thing

Maxine Beneba Clarke

It's the Sound of the Thing
Hardie Grant Children's Publishing
7 June 2023

It’s the Sound of the Thing

Maxine Beneba Clarke

It's the Sound of the Thing is an exuberant and evocative collection of poetry for young people from Maxine Beneba Clarke, one of Australia's most innovative and celebrated poets.

This extraordinary collection celebrates the joy of language and features enticing and relatable poems about everyday life - the sounds of the block, the boredom of detention and the happenings in the schoolyard. Poems about candy, peanut butter and pets. Poems about a big brother's messy room, a grandfather's fading memory and a grandmother's garden magic.

Through haiku, sonnets, narrative verse, rhyming couplets, limericks, free verse, tongue-twisters and more, Maxine invites readers to fall in love with the wonder that is poetry.


Maxine Beneba Clarke is already well-known for her poetry and for her children’s books. Now, she has published a collection of 100 new poems for young people. The collection includes many poetic forms, from sonnets to limericks, haikus to concrete poems. There is a handy index at the end of the book that categorises each poem, and Clarke’s introduction also contains a brief explanation of how the forms work, which will be useful both for first-time poetry readers and those looking to understand the mechanics in greater detail.

The poems capture something very real about childhood and growing up – worries, crushes, siblings, passions, boredom, justice – that leaves a comforting feeling of being in the hands of someone who understands. It’s also a brilliant resource in showing that not only can poetry be easier to understand than we might first believe, but it’s also an excellent way to express complex or private feelings, making poetry a more accessible form of writing or journaling for kids. My highlights were ‘Remembering’, in which a grandfather’s memory is fading, ‘A Really Quite Peculiar Pet’, about a garden snail, and ‘There’s a Shelf in the Library’ about the right to read and access information about the world. For ages 8+.

This item is in-stock at 8 shops and will ship in 3-4 days

Our stock data is updated periodically, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.