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A PRAYER IN SPRING by Robert Frost

A PRAYER IN SPRING

By Robert Frost (Author) , Grandma Moses (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7893-2226-5
Publisher: Universe/Rizzoli

Though established long after their passing, one would expect the union of two 20th-century American cultural giants, folk artist Grandma Moses (1860–1961) and poet Robert Frost (1874–1963), to yield bountiful fruit. Here Frost’s short verse poem, “A Prayer in Spring,” a celebration of the pastoral and living in the present, is set against 21 handsomely reproduced signature landscapes by Moses. While the resulting volume is visually stunning and offers much food for thought for young minds, unfortunately poetic and pictorial themes don’t quite mesh. Frost’s carpe diem entreaty, “O, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; / And give us not to think so far away / As the uncertain harvest,” jars slightly when interspersed among Moses’ realistic depictions of the many seasons and activities of daily living. “Keep us here / All simply in the springing of the year,” implores Frost, while the subjects of Moses’ grand vistas are too busy doing things—fishing, shearing sheep, flying kites, plowing the fields—to stop and ponder the pleasure being derived from nature. The effect makes one want either to look simply at the richly evocative paintings or to read the poem in its entirety. Since the two entities don’t really inform one another, it’s hard to see how these wonderfully accessible paintings will open up for inexperienced readers this rather sophisticated abstract poem. (Picture book. 10 & up)