Friday, September 15, 2006

Poetry Friday

This Poetry Friday entry is at once an excerpt, a review, and a big, big recommendation. "The Raven" has already been a Poetry Friday selection (Michele? Liz?), so I've chosen my favorite stanza from the middle of the poem this week:

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in
the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember
wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;
--vainly I had tried to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow
--sorrow for the lost Lenore--
For the rare and radiant maiden
whom the angels name Lenore--
Nameless here for Evermore.

I love this stanza because it conveys the horror of winter and its inky-blackness not even books can shake. But why, then, "The Raven" on this beautiful September day?

Because Kids Can Press has a wonderful new series, Visions in Poetry, and Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven is the fifth in the series. (Other titles include The Lady of Shalott, Jabberwocky, The Highwayman, and Casey at the Bat.) The series aims to provide "an exciting and unique series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions." And, if The Raven is any indication, Kids Can Press has succeeded admirably.

The classic poems have been paired with exceptional illustrations and beautiful production. Ryan Price illustrates The Raven with dark, claustrophobic prints that are funny in a dark way cynical tweens and teens will love. Highly, highly recommended.
It's been a busy Poetry Friday. Christine starts us off with a little "Rain," by Robert Louis Stevenson," at The Simple and the Ordinary. (And, she was kind enough to let me poach her links. Feel free to take the others, Christine!)

Wendy celebrates the birth of a new godchild with "WHERE did you come from, baby dear?," by George MacDonald, at Blog from the Windowsill. Jen's celebrates Roald Dahl's birthday with a poem from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Jen Robinson's Book Page.

Autumn is in the air and Nancy at Journey Woman thinks of "Mending Wall," by Robert Frost. Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight shares a basketfull of poetry books for children and "Merry Autumn Days," by Charles Dickens.

Michele at Scholar's Blog shares "Binsey Poplars (felled 1879)," by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and tells us about Hopkins' life and poetic method. Little Willow of Slayground/Bildungsroman contributes the first part of "The Lady of Shalott," by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Liz. B of A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy offers up "My Last Duchess," by Robert Browning.

Melissa, at Here in the Bonny Glen, is about to hit the (long) road and, because she's moving from bonny glens to the bonny Pacific, she shares the inspiration ("Horo, My Nut Brown Maiden") behind the name of her blog and her future home academy. Good luck, Melissa!

The Old Coot introduces himself and shares "Out there Somewhere," by "a Canadian chap named Henry Herbert Knibbs." Welcome, Coot!

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti provides an excerpt from Brian Lies's acclaimed Bats at the Beach. And, she's the Typepad Blog of the Day. And, she's finally provided the Chicken Spaghetti recipe. Yay, Susan!

Not an official Poetry Day entry, but Emily has a great new haiku review up at Emily Reads. Becky at Farm School is happy to find Poetry for Children and its author's, Sylvia Vardell, new book about poetry for (and with) children. And, Becky shares a lovely poem, "My Prairies," by Hamlin Garland.

Sherry at Semicolon shares a gorgeous Anne Bradstreet poem, "The city where I hope to dwell..." Mary Lee posts a hopeful "Life is mostly froth and bubble...," by A.L. Gordon, at A Year of Reading.

And, Susan Taylor Brown shares one of my favorite parts of her book, Hugging the Rock, at Susan Writes.
If I've missed you, please drop me an e-mail or a comment and I'll link you up asap.