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Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century Art

by Jan Greenburg

Published by Harry N. Abrams, 2001
80 pages
ISBN: 0-8109-4386-7

Ages 12 and older

Teens with an interest in either poetry or art will find much to contemplate in this singular collection of paired poems and paintings. Which came first, the poems or the art? The answer here is unusually clear. Jan Greenberg, author of a number of fine books about art for young adults with Sandra Jordan, invited contemporary writers to choose a painting, photograph, or other work of twentieth century American art and write a poem inspired or "stimulated" by it. The result is a series of intriguing, organic pairings that offers offers young adult readers a glimpse of the genesis and creative process behind the original poems in this volume. It also affirms that the inspiration for poems can be found everywhere, and that what a poem or painting means does not begin with some secret and sophisticated knowledge but rather draws it's initial strength from the heart and mind of each individual who takes time to consider the work. In the case of these poems, the journey begins with a work of art but it ends in myraid different ways, each dependent upon an individual reader's response. In the case of these work's of art, each one inspired a journey as distinct as the poet's themselves, and a new journey begins with each new look. As one of the poets, X.J. Kennedy, is quoted in Greenberg's introduction, "Perhaps you can image a different story inspired by this painting. Look at the picture long and I think that you too will find it overflowing with possibilities." CCBC categories: Poetry; The Arts.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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