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LOVE by E.E. Cummings


Selected Poems

by E.E. Cummings & illustrated by Christopher Myers

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-0796-2
Publisher: Hyperion

This perfectly gorgeous offering pairs a selection of cummings’s love poetry with startling photo collages. Cummings, never one of the easiest poets, is here playful, erotic, inscrutable and utterly, thoroughly tender by turns. His signature lower-case lines, punctuated by parenthetical phrases that deconstruct and reconstruct meaning: “you will go(kiss me / down into your memory and / a memory and memory / i)kiss me(will go).” Myers’s illustrations take the images offered by the poems and give them glorious color, figuring a multicultural (and often little-clad) cast against brightly painted backgrounds and using negative space to layer shapes over and under others. For the most part, he rightly chooses to aim at the overall emotional impact rather than literal depictions, giving the words and reader space to imagine. Disingenuously labeled “all ages” by the publisher, this collection will most appropriately find its home with teens, if they can overcome the picture-bookness of the whole. Those who do will find their burnings and yearnings well-understood by both author and artist. (Picture book/poetry. YA)