Morgenstern was a turn-of-the-century German poet and these poems represent a collaboration of translator Max Knight and...

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THE DAYNIGHT LAMP

Morgenstern was a turn-of-the-century German poet and these poems represent a collaboration of translator Max Knight and illustrator H. A. Rey (Curious George) who created these lithographs in the '20's. Both Knight and Rey succeed in approximating the chilly appeal of Morgenstern's filmy grotesques. The poet swings from delicate fantastic dream journeys to Max und Moritz slapstick. There's the bumptious soul-aggression of Palmstroem who wishes to dissolve like salt in water at sundown to emerge at sunrise as ""Palmstroem, foam-begotten Aphrodite,"" who delights in fish-hood and bird-hood; or there's Korf, who invents a lamp which shuts off daylight. And there is a chimeric bestiary: the moonsheep, ""the center of the cosmic scheme,"" the ""Nosobame"" that ""upon bis noses stalketh. . . ."" Knight catches the flavor of wordplay adding a few touches of his own: ""Die Rehlein betan zur Nachte, halb acht!/ Halb neun!"" becomes: ""The does, as the hour grows late, med-it-ate;/ reed-it-nine!"" Rey's illustrations are exactly right. Elusive as those praying does, but the poems leave a prickly after-image.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973