Monday, April 14, 2008

Poetry in Nonfiction

I adore a book that packs so much in so little. The Monarch's Progress: Poems with Wings by Avis Harley is one such gem. Ms. Harley brings the world of poetry to the monarch.

In the introduction, we learn a little bit about poems, their forms, and why Ms. Harley chose the forms she did. Each spread has a gem of a poem that tells of the Monarch's life along with beautiful pictures.

Consider these excerpts from three poems:

Feet Treat

If we would let our toes seek what we eat,

what smorgasbord would greet our eager feet?


Wondrous Wings

The perfect patternings unfold

in tapestries of crimson and gold.

Abstract art grown huge and bold!


Wintering Over









These poems are so much fun to say out loud. The language is rich and playful. They make you want to write your own poems about the things you find beautiful in nature. I was inpired to write about the pinesiskins that flock in our backyard. I also picked up my children's colored pencils to draw. No matter that I ended up with a pinesiskin that looked more like a mouse.

Ms. Harley includes a section at the back, titled Small Matters, with more information for each of the spreads. This book has everything -- facts, poetry, even philosophy. I highly recommend it.



Bish Denham said...

Oooo, I need to go find this book and read it!

Anonymous said...

Vijaya, I have this book and haven't had a chance to read it yet. But now I'm very inspired to. Thanks for the review!