A CIRCLE OF SEASONS by Myra Cohn Livingston


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A dozen double-page evocations of the seasons (with the first repeated at the end to make the circle), each consisting of a four-line verse plus a short incantation, with a misty, Impressionist-ic color picture that fills the right-hand page and extends onto the left. Livingston's fanciful-poetical verses, three for each season, conjure up personified Seasons, beginning with ""Spring"" who ""skips lightly on a thin crust of snow,/ Pokes her fragrant fingers in the ground far below,/ Searches for the sleeping seeds hiding in cracked earth,/ Sticks a straw of sunshine down and whispers words to grow:/ O seed/ And root,/ Send forth a tiny shoot!"" Fisher accompanies this with a pretty, grainy design of yellow vertical bars (presumably the sunshine) over horizontal blocks of blue (on top) and violet, separated by an uneven band of white, with a row of promising green spots across the bottom. On the next spread a strained metaphor has Spring swing her baseball bat, pitch bulbs and blossoms, catch violets, slide to meadowsweet, bunt a breeze, and tag the trees with buds. The seemingly unrelated picture shows pink and white flowers lined up fiat, as in Warhol's silkscreens, but softened and smudgy. Proceeding, we see a vibrant red sun as ""Summer blasts off fireworks"" which come back to earth as flowers; next, in a heap of fairy-tale clichÉs, Summer trips about playing with mermaids, a frog prince, hidden gold, and castle-clouds. With Autumn we see more sport in a round of football images that don't connect, and then Winter comes raging and etching windowpanes and doing all the things that winter does in little poems. It's the kind of poetry that seems to derive from a sanctimonious idea of poetry, the kind you'd expect a good creative writing teacher to squelch. With the pictures and picture-book format it becomes even more a pseudo-experience.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1982
Publisher: Holiday House