Buried Alive: The Elements of Love

Buried Alive: The Elements of Love

by Ralph J. Fletcher
     
 

Love is as fundamental to human life as the elements, and just as complex. In a companion to the award-winning I Am Wings, Ralph Fletcher explores rich and varied experiences of love from the perspectives of several teens. It's all here--romantic discover, rejection and healing--in images that speak to teens in their own language. Andrew Moore's stiking photo-collage…  See more details below

Overview

Love is as fundamental to human life as the elements, and just as complex. In a companion to the award-winning I Am Wings, Ralph Fletcher explores rich and varied experiences of love from the perspectives of several teens. It's all here--romantic discover, rejection and healing--in images that speak to teens in their own language. Andrew Moore's stiking photo-collage pieces give visual life to these stunning poems.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Fletcher writes in the voices of a variety of teenagers, dividing his poems into the fundamental elements of love-earth, water, air, and fire. The narrators appear in each section, revealing the stories of their experiences. One young woman is on the verge of a lesbian relationship; a macho guy loses his cool when Jeannie begins to pay attention to him; a girl receives love letters in Spanish and has to have them translated. Appropriately, the writing reflects the personality of each narrator and ranges from simplistic to graceful. The whole concept-the poetry, the inviting pages, the metaphor of the arrangement, the romantic situations, and the mysterious photocollages-is, in its complexity, a step above the works of Mel Glenn and Gary Soto. Despite the fact that Buried Alive's elemental metaphor promises more than it delivers, and that the title hints at a darkness and depth that is not apparent, this volume should intrigue YA readers. They will enjoy discovering stories of requited and unrequited love, puzzling over the gender of certain narrators, and pondering the added dimension each element gives to the poetry. Perhaps it will inspire them to read more skilled and complex work-and write their own. Also, the poems read aloud well and might form the basis for a choral reading.-Marjorie Lewis, formerly at Heathcote School, Scarsdale, NY
Hazel Rochman
Like Fletcher's popular "I Am Wings" (1994), this companion collection of free verse has a simple immediacy about romantic love. While the teacher drones on about "natural disasters," a teenager watches his beloved flirting with someone else. In "Not Fair" a boy envies his two-year-old brother, kissed and fondled by the cute baby-sitter. Ted is the macho guy. Alexis is lesbian, proud, and lonely. Juliet is both awkward and defiant about her sexy body. The interior monologues are loosely arranged, and some of the same characters speak in several places about their feelings and how they are changing. Richard kisses a girl; in a later poem, he longs for her when she moves away. Dawne's boyfriend writes to her in Spanish; in the next section she gets someone to translate the note; in the last section her dad finds the note and rages at her. The metaphors spring easily from the classroom, the beach, the fields. Kids will be open to discovering poetry in such ordinary words as "Um, is this seat taken?"
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of poems about young love and all its complications, from cruelty to worship, from the author of Fig Pudding (1995). Over a cycle of poems, a number of stories unfold, of forbidden affection, cold calculation, suspicion ("hairs black, red and blond:/yours/mine/someone else's"), separation, disappointment, longing, and unlikely love. Pumpkins planted in the first bloom of a now-failed relationship refuse to wither on the vine and yield jack-o'-lanterns—"Not one face looked like yours." A likable tough guy falls for a delicate beauty and disarms her father with car talk. A lonely gay girl, her yearbook holding no signatures, teeters on the brink of love. There's a Mrs. Robinsonstyle mom (". . . tanned and amazingly fit/from advanced aerobics classes"), a love poem that gets burned up by a girl's angry father, and love letters that keep arriving by mail after the love has been canceled in a phone call.

Fletcher has written articulate, intense poems that treat the subject of love with dignity and compassion.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689805936
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
04/16/1996
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
46
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.57(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >