THE FORGETFUL WISHING WELL: Poems for Young People by X.J. Kennedy

THE FORGETFUL WISHING WELL: Poems for Young People

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The 70 light, accomplished entries in Kennedy's latest verse collection deal, as his section headings have it, with ""Growing Pains"" ("". . .My wooly bear is packed away,/Why do the nights feel colder?""), ""Creatures"" (such as ""Bats,"" who "". . .drowse all day in houses' eaves/Like tents collapsed for storage. . .""), ""People"" (""I don't like Agnes Snagletooth./How can I ever face her? . . .""), the ""Wonders"" of simple devices, such as flashlights (their makers ""put up light in little cans""), and commonplace ""Family Matters"" such as the scratchy beard of ""Porcupine Pa,"" a ""loving pater"" whose kid feels ""like cheese/That's up against a grater."" Kennedy's musings on such humble objects as ""My Window Screen"" and sour ""Summer Milk"" lack the concentrated transforming vision of Valerie Worth's small poems for children; and it's disappointing that this volume's strongest aural-visual image is ""The Man with the Tan Hands,"" reprinted from Kennedy's very first (1962) collection. Kennedy's verse is always unassumingly elegant, however, and his easy mastery of form is uncommon in verse for children.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1985
Publisher: Atheneum