PEELING THE ONION by Ruth Gordon

PEELING THE ONION

An Anthology of Poems
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Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Sixty-six poems, mostly from the 20th century, including many translations (from Spanish, Yiddish, Russian, Papago, Korean, French, Romanian) and such poets as Octavio Paz, Kenneth Rexroth, Adrienne Rich, Boris Pasternak, and Walt Whitman. The poems are informally grouped to explore aspects of the natural world, seasons, family relationships, childhood pastimes, sports, etc. Though the topics may sound simple, the selections are not: these are adult poems on subjects children know something about. The meanings are multilayered (hence the title), the sensibilities informing them mature, the language often dense and compressed. Some will be accessible to middle-grade readers (Roethke's ``The Bat'' and Lucile Blanchard's ``Watering the Garden'' are about uncomfortable encounters; Mary Balazs' ``Dog-Walk'' poignantly describes a leashed dog, yearning to explore; Melech Ravitch's ``Horses'' is a wrenching poem about the slaughter of two worn-out dray horses). Others (Paz's ``Water Night,'' Stanley Plumly's ``Waders and Swimmers'') are challenging even for adults. Serious poetry for good readers to puzzle over and ponder. Poets' dates and translators' names given with the poems; fully indexed. (Poetry. 10+)

Pub Date: July 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-021727-8
Page count: 94pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993




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