Gr 4-9-Quality of verse, diversity of experience, varying depths of emotions, a range of favorite and unfamiliar poets, changing perspectives, and the unexpected joy of the sound of language can all be found in this remarkable anthology. All 136 poems heighten readers' awareness of the elements of music around them. Poets such as Edward Lear, X.J. Kennedy, Eve Merriam, Langston Hughes, Valerie Worth, and John Ciardi appear almost syncopated with such names as Emanuel di Pasquale, Federico Garca Lorca, and Marni McGee. A trio of Livingston's own poems are included, as well. The division of the book into 12 sections allows readers to consider singers and musicians, the families of instruments, practice time, music in the air around us, and a personal celebration of singing. Within each section is the sensitive exploration of music in daily routines, the sounds of nature, the appeal of instruments, and the lively rhythms or thoughts on a metronome. Throughout the book, the poems chant at readers to listen to what they are hearing, to their inner sounds, to private sounds, and to brassy trumpets. Mood music? This volume's got a poem for each mood and then some.-Ronald Jobe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
With all kinds of rhythm and rhyme, the poets in this harmonious anthology find words for how we make music and how we listen. The voices are of many times and places, including several in translation, from Tennyson and Whitman to Langston Hughes and Yeats; and the music that moves these writers ranges from opera and jazz to lullabies, gospel, and Mozart. There's wonder here and sometimes irreverence, including some sly limericks and a comic poem about practicing and dreaming of applause. The poems are arranged by type of instrument (keyboard and strings, fiddles and cellos, banjos and guitars, woodwinds, brass and percussion) and also by how we listen and remember. Livingston is a poet with a fine ear, and she has created another great anthology. As she says about music, some of these poems will whirl in your head for days and days and come to be part of all you know.