by Liz Rosenberg, ed.
Published by Edge Books/Henry Holt, 1998
Age 12 and older
Rosenberg's dynamic compilation is prefaced with an outstanding introduction in which she describes collecting poems that "speak most powerfully to our most intense experiences and emotions." They are poems that she found "earth-shatteringly beautiful," or romantic, or scathing, or that "shattered [her] sense of time and place." The wide range of poetry in this collection includes a fragment by the Greek poet Sappho (620-550 BCE), a poem from 17th century Japanese haiku master Basho, and numerous selections from poets of the 19th and 20th century, including Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, Audre Lorde and many others. Rosenberg's introduction validates readers' own responses to these and other poems at the same time it acknowledges "it is all right to be partly confused by a poem; it's all right if you can only grab hold of a corner of it, because eventually that corner may be enough to pull you all the way through." Excellent biographical notes provide information on each poet's life and often suggest additional resources. A selected bibliography of other suggested reading rounds out this fine collection. CCBC categories: Poetry. © Cooperative Children's Book Center