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Talking to the Sun: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems for Young People

de Kenneth Koch

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Overview: Published in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Poems from various time periods and many countries are organized by theme and illustrated with reproductions of art works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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Poems from various time periods and many countries are organized by theme and illustrated with reproductions of art works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Jun 19, 2020 |
808.8
  OakGrove-KFA | Mar 28, 2020 |
808.81
  OakGrove-KFA | Mar 28, 2020 |
If you ever want young people to become fascinated with poetry and art, this is the book for them. The poems, mostly short, wander through the world, gathering specimens from China, Japan, India, Africa and Native American and other cultures, while also including western voices from Dante and Shakespeare to Frank O'Hara and Gary Snyder. Typical for 1985, only 8 women poets are represented (minus one-half star). The poems are evocatively and exquisitely paired with works from the Met's collection, including sculpture and ceramics as well as painting, drawing and collage. Kenneth Koch was a great poetry teacher: his enthusiastic sensibility is on display here. I love this book! ( )
  deckla | Dec 28, 2018 |
Don't underestimate children. Good poetry isn't meant to be consumed in one go, nor art to be looked at just one time.

Maybe the first time you read this together with your seven-year old, pick out a few neat animal or nature pictures and read (out loud!) the poems that accompany them. Pick the one that is most fun to say, even if you don't understand it. Memorize it, or a few lines from it. Read it again a few months later. Read some of the other poems in that section.

Maybe memorize Little Fish" by D.H. Lawrence:

The tiny fish enjoy themselves
in the sea.
Quick little splinters of life,
their little lives are fun to them
in the sea.

Try to figure out the connections between the art and the poems - sometimes they're easy to spot, and sometimes you'll have to be a detective, or use your imagination to interpret a commonality. Maybe some will stump you and your child, until the child is a little older and has an 'ah-hah' moment.

Sometimes you and your child can have fun imagining yourselves in a scene, and sometimes you have to work your brains to make a guess why someone would paint or make something that seems boring, or scary, or weird. Try to figure out why the artist felt motivated to create each work. Who was the intended audience; what idea was she trying to share; what point was he trying to make?

Consider, from 1870, 'The Bathers' - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Winslow_Homer_-_Eagle_Head,_Manchester,_M...(High_Tide).jpg by Winslow Homer. Can you imagine wearing all those clothes in the water? Maybe not. But look at the women - do they make you think that the people in the 'olden days' were weird? I don't think so....

There are brief commentaries attached to many of the works to help with appreciation.

There is an index of titles and authors, and another of first lines. There are also short essays at the beginning and end that give some gentle guidance. Unfortunately, there is no way to search for works of art or artists - for example if you wanted to quickly find which page the painting by Winslow Homer is on, or whether he has any other works included.

This is a beautiful book, and I wish I could find a good home for it.

" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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Overview: Published in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Poems from various time periods and many countries are organized by theme and illustrated with reproductions of art works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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