FEG by Robin Hirsch
Kirkus Star


Stupid Ridiculous Poems for Intelligent Children
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 & up
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With his two children as semi-silent partners, and the evident intent of appealing both to poetry lovers and budding philologists, restaurateur/performance artist Hirsch pairs two dozen easy-to-read poems with harder-to-read (and far longer) explanatory footnotes—all rescued from pedantry by dazzling wordplay and infectious enthusiasm. A graduate degree is helpful but not required. After opening with a “Tragical-Comical-Historical-Pastoral” introduction in which he takes issue with Archibald MacLeish’s “A poem should not mean / But be,” he offers a disguised alphabet—“Abie’s seedy effigy / Eight chide Jake: a lemon / O peek. . . . ” More samples include ear rhymes and eye rhymes (followed by a “Ewe Rhyme”), palindromes, spoonerisms, acrostics, concrete poems, and puns. Beneath, in smaller type, he expands on literary and historical references, explores word derivations, defines homographs, homophones, and homonyms, or goes off on daffy tangents. Ha, yet another New Yorker artist to break into children’s books, debuts with scatterings of small, brightly colored, Adobe-generated geometric or semi-abstract shapes that float within, or dash across, the pagescapes with postmodern zest. The meaty-though-seldom-serious commentary enhances the experience of reading the poems, but is likely to lose less-well-read children. Still, Hirsch delivers the idea that words are for playing with in any number of refreshingly clever ways. (Poetry. 11+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-316-36344-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2002


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