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The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis Hardcover – September 30, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have been selected by someone who should know: Caroline Kennedy. While Caroline's two confirmed appearances on the Today Show, a first serial in Good Housekeeping, and further publicity should make this easily the bestselling poetry title of the season, it doesn't hurt that Jackie's taste was excellent. Charming poems from John Clare, Kipling, and a young Jimmy Kennedy are complemented by work from Langston Hughes, Robert Frost and Elizabeth Bishop and by 14 b&w family photos. Caroline Kennedy has organized more than 100 poems into seven sections ("America"; "Adventure" etc.), written short, intimate introductions to each and included a small selection of Jackie's own poems.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Introduced and with a running commentary by Caroline Kennedy, these are poems her mother shared with her and that she in turn shares with her own children. It's not surprising, therefore, that many are cute little poems about animals (though written with the adult audience in mind). Others are by Robert Frost (and the tape includes him reading at JFK's inauguration), Shakespeare, Yeats, Dickinson, and several excerpts from the Greek classics. Particularly striking, set against the backdrop of the 1960s when the Kennedy children were growing up, are the poems by Langston Hughes (a particularly memorable piece about a boy looking for the Jim Crow section of the carousel), Countee Cullen, and Jean Toomer. Unfortunately, Kennedy's commentary is wooden and often refers to works not on the tape. The Lord's Prayer, America the Beautiful, and passages from the Bible seem a little too "inspirational." Still, with the inclusion of four poems written by the former First Lady herself, this is bound to be a popular item; recommended for most public libraries. Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (September 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786868090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868094
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Caroline Kennedy is the editor of ten New York Times bestselling books on American history, politics, constitutional law and poetry, including She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems and A Family of Poems. She works to bring the power of the spoken work to students in New York City schools. (photo credit: Ron Howard)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Misty Swendryck on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first installment (Best loved poems of JKO), I shared many of my favorites with my niece who's barely 10 yrs old. She fell in love with "Annabel Lee" by the great EAP. I was so intrigued by her interest. I then ordered a copy of "A Family of Poems", 2 copiesfor she and I. The illustrations are magical as well as the words the depict them.

I have found such pleasure in sharing them with my family, I never knew that they would respond with such enthusiasm. I truely believe that these are the things which can bring a family closer. I am so jealous of the fact that my family didn't grow up in this fashion. I will make it a priority to teach my children these works, and let them explore all of the great wonders that are brought to life byh them. I want my family to appreciate what words truely mean.

As spoken by Mrs. Kennedy giving a poem is like giving a gift, always read only the greats, and know that poetry can take you so many wonderful places. This is not verbatim, but it is the sentiment that I have taken and shared with all.

I now cannot go to sleep without going through the adventures of these great works.

Thank you Caroline for all the attention you put into collecting such great master pieces.
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105 of 111 people found the following review helpful By wildroses on September 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I think I can liberally say, and that others will agree, that the Kennedy family revels in their iconography (for example, the catalogue for the JACQUELINE KENNEDY: THE WHITE HOUSE YEARS exhibit.) However, every once in a while, they have an inspiring moment that allows us to see the person, and not the icon, that is celebrated. This book is one of those moments.
Now, it is a definite possibility that someone is going to complain when they get this book--they will say that there is nothing new revealed about Jackie, and that nothing Caroline Kennedy says has any depth when discussing her mother. Yes, they are right--there is nothing new revealed here, but Caroline Kennedy is not the type of person who would write a tell-all-book in the first place. As she says, this book was written because her mother gave her family their love of poetry, and she wants to inspire others to develop their own love of poetry too.
As for the poems, they range from the Biblical to the very modern poets like e.e. cummings. The book is divided into 7 sections: America, First Poems, Adventure, Escape, Romance and Love, Reflection, and In Her Own Words.
Each section opens with an introduction by Caroline as to why her mother liked or was inspired by the poems, and some of the poems have footnotes explaining why they were particularly important to include in the book.
Another thing people will be bound to complain about is that all the poetry that JKO wrote that is included in this has been published before. But that is acknowledged by Caroline, and as she explains it--that were included to encourage people to write poetry of their own.
This book was very clearly designed in such a way to make you want to pick it up and read it on a cold, windy, rainy day...sitting around the fireside...
Read more ›
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87 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on October 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis," selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy, is a beautiful book which is both a memorial to our former First Lady and a testimonial to how cultured and informed she was.
The volume is also a short course in poetry, as it spans the centuries & includes works by such renowned authors as Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, Homer, W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings, and Robert Frost.
Onassis' beloved poems reveal her in depth in a manner the newspapers could not, as a patriotic American, a loving bride, a thinker, a dreamer, an adventurer, a humorist, a poet, and perhaps most of all, a dedicated and loving mother.
Surely there is no better tribute to a mother than to have a loving child publish such a book.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Rose VINE VOICE on December 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I truly love this book. It beautifully captures memories, heart and soul. There are touching photos, and a genuinely great collection of poetry best loved by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, one of the few women I have admired my entire life.
Some of my favorite poems in this book are:
"Let America Be America Again" by Langston Hughes
"Sonnet XVIII" by William Shakespeare
"Sea Joy" by Jacqueline Bouvier - 1939
"Thoughts" by Jacqueline Bouvier - 1943
"Meanwhile in Massachusetts" by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy - October 1953 (Inspired by "John Brown's Body" by Stephen Vincent Benet.)

Caroline Kennedy did an outstanding job in creating this collection. This is really a book to treasure, and would make a beautiful gift for anyone who loved one of our greatest First Ladies, as well as the fantastic contributors to this collection. Highly recommended!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brent Jones on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Finding the assortment of poems to be so well chosen was not a surprise. We would expect that in a book about Jacqueline by her daughter.What was a surprise was the particular assortment of poems presented. Her past, her youth, people in her life, scriptures, and then her own poems. I especially loved finding Jacqueline's own poems that she had written.

C.S. Lewis suggested about poetry that it is less like literature today. Not so with Jacqueline's poems. The collection of poems was a story itself.

Caroline said that one of the greatest gifts she and her brother received from her mother was her love of literature and language. This book demonstrates that claim. You can sense the way she felt and who she was.

A special find was finding the page "Books I read when I was young." I loved her poems, "Sea Joy" and "Thoughts". This is a book that is indeed a treasure.
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