Knee-Deep in Blazing Snow: Growing up in Vermont

Knee-Deep in Blazing Snow: Growing up in Vermont

by James Hayford, Michael McCurdy
     
 

The poems in this collection were chosen for their appeal to young people, and sorted into the four seasons, so readers can get a taste of growing up in New England year-round. James Hayford's poems include a Vermont way of talking—no wasted words. His language is whittled into poems satisfying to read aloud and surprising in their power to reveal truth. The

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Overview

The poems in this collection were chosen for their appeal to young people, and sorted into the four seasons, so readers can get a taste of growing up in New England year-round. James Hayford's poems include a Vermont way of talking—no wasted words. His language is whittled into poems satisfying to read aloud and surprising in their power to reveal truth. The collection is steeped in New England but speaks to readers everywhere. Michael McCurdy's stunning engravings and woodcuts add to the poems, amplifying the drama of New England seasons and the beauty of rural life.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
James Hayford (1913-1993) lived most of his days in rural Vermont and wrote poems about life in New England. In this collaboration by fellow New Englanders, the Kennedys and artist McCurdy present some of Hayford's poems selected for young people, arranged by seasons and accompanied by woodcuts and scratchboard illustrations that add piquant comment to the poet's quiet vision. Encouraged in his youth by Robert Frost, Hayford never stopped recording his deep but succinctly expressed feelings and sensual impressions of a way of life that may be a revelation to city children of today. Starting with "Summer," each section has a double-page illustration as an introduction, progressing from haying and corn-hoeing, through apple-picking, wood-hauling, and ice-skating, only to bring readers up short in "Spring" by picturing a bonneted woman harnessed to a plow while her daughter walks behind, sowing seed. Not all images are so harsh: Hayford revels in the song of birds in "Two Birds (With One Stone)," a warm goat barn in "Night Milking Time," and the soft, curled body of "The Banished Cat." "Barn Light" is only one example of his evocative emotional responses to remembered rural scenes; try "Trains," "Spring Tide," and "First Snow." The poems are short--read them aloud as recommended, and be prepared to experience the essence of a Vermont year shaped by a master who devoted a lifetime to writing with hand carved precision and distilled sensual perception. Also provided for young readers is the Kennedy's lucid introduction to "Hayford's World."
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Hayford, a gifted poet, was mentored and lauded by Robert Frost, and the Kennedys have selected some of his spare yet evocative verses to share with a new audience. Looking back upon his childhood in early-20th-century rural Vermont, Hayford imbued ordinary activities, events, and observations with acquired and perceptive wisdom. In "Time to Plant Trees," he recommends planting them, "-when you're young/So you will have them to walk among-/So, aging, you can walk in shade/That you and time together made." Adults who share these poems can provide some useful context to support a few images that may otherwise be unfamiliar to contemporary children. Some of the selections have an easy rhyme; others are free verse. McCurdy's black-and-white woodcuts, at times quite dark, reflect the quiet nostalgia expressed in these pages.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590783382
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
10 - 18 Years

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