NEAR THE WINDOW TREE by Karla Kuskin

NEAR THE WINDOW TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Kuskin explains at the start that when she reads her poems in schools children often ask her where she gets her ideas, and this is an attempt to show how the inspiration for poetry is anywhere you are. Here then is a series of short, superficially autobiographical paragraphs describing the author's chair near her window, her tree, her cats, her summer at camp, her children's habits, toys and coats, etc.--with each paragraph followed by a verse to show how the experience has been turned into poetry. The examples, both playful (""I have a friend who keeps on standing on her head./ That's fine./ Except I find it very difficult to talk to her/ Unless I stand on mine"") and pensive (""It is grey out./ It is grey in./ In me/ It is as grey as the day is grey./ The trees look sad/ And I,/ Not knowing why I do,/ Cry"") could certainly succeed in convincing children that poetry is accessible and that it can be related to everyday life--provided that you are willing to call this poetry. But if you bring the two together by taking the poetry out of the lines rather than putting it into everyday life, the point hardly seems worth making.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1975
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Harper & Row