Books by Eric Sabee

MY OWN SONG by Michael R. Strickland
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Strickland's second anthology of poems about music (Poems That Sing to You, 1993) contains 51 selections, including 6 of his own and 10 from some of the publisher's other authors. Most of the selections address singing, dancing, and playing instruments, but some (Shakespeare's ``Sonnet 130'') use music as only one of many images surrounding an entirely different subject. The scratchboard illustrations (reproduced in murky black-and-white) point to a young audience, but the book will be more useful as a resource for teachers, since the poems range in accessibility from Eleanor Farjeon's ``Music'' (``Can you dance? I love to dance!'') to William Blake's ``How sweet I roam'd from field to field,'' and some enigmatic work by Edvidge Giunta and Lisa Bahlinger. While there is much here that is first-rate, e.g., James Weldon Johnson's ``O Black and Unknown Bards,'' there is also a great deal that is unremarkable. The graceless design has three ill-assorted typefaces per page (four, when italics are used), blocks of text plunked down without regard for balance between type and leading, poems set almost into the gutter, and long pieces crammed on to one page. This is an uneven set of variations, poorly presented, on a marvelous theme. (Poetry. 9- 11) Read full book review >