HEART TO HEART by Jan Greenberg


New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art
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This unusual poetry anthology is a compilation of 43 contemporary poets’ responses to self-selected images, ranging from photographs to sculpture. The poets may tell a story inspired by the art, assume the voice of the subject, describe the piece, or explore some technical aspect of the work. Poems are written in traditional forms, free verse, or patterns. Greenberg (Frank O. Gehry: Outside In, 2000, etc.) contributes a poem in the shape of a diamond to accompany Chuck Close’s self-portrait in diamond shapes. Jacob Lawrence’s “Barber Shop,” a colorful, jazzy gouache on paper, inspires Peter F. Neumeyer to match the feelings engendered in the painting with words that describe the barbershop as a “shrewd skeptic joshing where the brothers meet.” William Jay Smith reacts to Elie Nadelman’s wooden sculpture “Woman at the Piano” with a story beginning, “When the tall thin lady started to play the notes flew up and out and away.” Artists represented include Georgia O’Keeffe, Red Grooms, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Hopper, Faith Ringgold, Mark Rothko, and Roy Liechtenstein. Poets include Deborah Chandra, Kristine O’Connell George, Angela Johnson, Naomi Shihab Nye, and X.J. Kennedy. The color reproduction of the works from museum slides is excellent, and the varied arrangements of text and art on the page lends interest. Some of the works are accessible to young children; others are more sophisticated. An index and biographical notes on the poets and artists are useful additions. A beautiful volume that brings words and pictures together in wonderful tributes from artist to artist. (Nonfiction. All ages)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8109-4386-7
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001


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