We'd never thought of Pound's translation of ""The River Merchant's Wife"" as a valentine poem, but it works as one here....

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I LIKE YOU And Other Poems for Valentine's Day

We'd never thought of Pound's translation of ""The River Merchant's Wife"" as a valentine poem, but it works as one here. Just so Langston Hughes' ""Juke Box Love Song,"" Ted Joans' ""Love Tight,"" and James Stephens' ""The Canal Bank"" (""To wit? said the owl,/ To woo! said I""), which are among the fanciful selections that leaven the billet-doux of Shel Silverstein, Karla Kuskin, and Anonymous (who contributes a rebus message and an endless true-love knot rhyme). Yaroslava makes every entry an individual valentine, framing Rilke and R. L. Stevenson with dignified lace borders, putting Joans' poem smack in the center of a frilly lion's gaping mouth, and bordering Nikki Giovanni's ""Kidnap Poem"" with a roller coaster. The effect of so much decoration is a bit giddy and certainly more childish than the material, which could be a problem. But the willingness to take a few chances--in departing from both obvious material and the traditional red and pink color scheme--results in a lighter, more likable mix than Hopkins' younger Good Morning to You, Valentine (p. 75, J-27).

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 1976

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1976