THE INVISIBLE LADDER by Liz--Ed. Rosenberg


An Anthology of Contemporary American Poems for Young Readers
Age Range: 11 & up
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 A striking array of poems by ``living poet[s]'' who do not write in a ``children's poetry ghetto,'' including Robert Creeley, Carolyn Kizer, Nikki Giovanni, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Bly, and W.D. Snodgrass. ``Most poetry anthologies for young readers,'' Rosenberg (Heart and Soul, p. 224, etc.) writes in her introduction, ``are . . . books full of bouncy rhymes too stupid for any adult to put up with (as if children were tone deaf or didn't know any better)--or poems by the dead and the very dead.'' Some of the featured poets cite as sources of inspiration long-dead and recently dead poets, as in ``The Mystery of Emily Dickinson'' by Marvin Bell: ``While the others wrote more and longer,/you wrote much more and much shorter.'' The poems range in subject from the power of love to the mysteries of math (from Kyoko Mori: ``If x equals y,/is it like putting apples into/cole slaw, the way a tomato/is really a fruit?''); there are stinging poems of advocacy, from Alice Walker's ``I am the dark/rotten-toothed girl/with the wounded eyes/and the melted ear'' to Mart°n Espada's defendant ``ordered/to remove his tires/from the halls of civilization'' and David Chin's Sterling Williams who ``shows us he knows how to bleed.'' The contributors are arranged alphabetically, with commentary and photos of themselves both as children and as adults, followed by one or more of their poems. A section called ``Ways to Use this Book'' precedes biographical notes on the poets. (Poetry. 11+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8050-3836-1
Page count: 206pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1996