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World Poetry: ''Evidence of Life''

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
While the title says world poetry, the focus is on poets of the past and does not include any from the aboriginal nations of the Americas, Australia, the Pacific Islands, or the continent of Africa, so the title is a bit misleading even with the disclaimer offered by the editor in his introduction. For those who have studied literature, it is a treat to see a recap of some of the poets who have provided the foundations to much of the literature that students will encounter. Gilgamesh—a poem written down in 1200 B.C.E.—is analyzed, and readers learn that the themes of common humanity—love, death and friendship still resonate with readers today. Other early poets were found in India and much later in Greece. The technique for remembering and reciting epic poems such as The Iliad and The Odyssey are described. It is amazing to realize that The Iliad is 15,693 lines, but the repetition and stock epithets helped both the reteller and the audience remember and keep track of the story. China had its great poet in Du Fu while Japan offered the world Basho, who seems to have realized a reemergence today. The world of children's literature has been enriched by books such as Grass Sandals and Rumi. Dante is not usually tackled until high school, and I certainly remember having visions of what hell would look like. One poet who seems to have lived in the minds and hearts of scholars over the centuries is Omar Khayyam. His great poem has been translated into most major languages. In addition to the brief descriptions of these poets lives and excerpts from their major works, there are also descriptions of poetic forms and techniques. There are also some interesting fact boxes scattered throughout for those who love trivia. This is a useful book for students and also adults who may want a reintroduction to these poets and their works, which may spur them on to read some of the world's greatest poetry. There are chapter notes, a glossary, a list of further readings and internet sites, and an index. This book is part of the "Poetry Rocks!" series. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598453829
  • Publisher: Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Series: Poetry Rocks!
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1280L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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