Buffy for Roundup.
It's been a busy summer so far... all good stuff! This past week I watched my son perform LIVE at a music/arts festival, met friends and readers at the Birmingham Zoo, taught a writing workshop, and today I am at a quilting event! Hurray for summer! Also, I've been doing lots and LOTS of reading. (See my #bookaday posts!)
AND I finally got to A WREATH FOR EMMETT TILL by Marilyn Nelson with illustrations by Phillippe Lardy.
This may be a picture book, but it's very sophisticated in language, and heavy (obviously) in content. And it's sonnets! I would suggest tackling it as a poem a day, or else it's likely to be overwhelming to young readers. I like how the illustrations are simple compared to the text -- it helps the reader take it all in a little easier. This book won a ton of awards, which, I think, is a good message to we striving poets to go ahead and take on those heavy subjects, if our hearts call us to do so.
And now, a poem:
Like the full moon, which smiled calmly on his death.
by Marilyn Nelson
Like the stars, which fluttered their quicksilver wings.
Like the unbroken song creation sings
while humankind tramples the grapes of wrath.
Like wildflowers growing beside the path
a boy was dragged along, blood spattering
their white petals as he, abandoning
all hope, gasped his agonizing last breath.
Like a nation sending its children off to fight
our faceless enemy, immortal fear,
the most feared enemy of the human race.
Like a plague of not knowing wrong from right.
Like the consciencelessness of the atmosphere.
Like a gouged eye, watching boots kick a face.
Wow, huh? The next poem is titled with the last line of this one... which is the pattern throughout the book. And then, the final poem is comprised of the first lines of the 14 preceding sonnets in the collection. Now that requires some wordsmithing skill!