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Gr. 6-10. The editors of these handsome collections in the Poetry for Young People series have chosen well, bringing together about 20 of each great poet's most accessible, compelling poems, with selections that range from Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" to Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and Yeats' stark, dramatic "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death." The full-color paintings on each page are beautiful. Each volume begins with a helpful general biography and a critical introduction to the poet's work. On the page with each poem, brief editorial notes provide useful context and guidance (if only the notes were at the back of the book, so that the reader could first enjoy a poem free of commentary). In fact, the book design is a problem, especially in the Yeats book. Harrington's impressionistic art is lush and beautiful, evoking the Irish landscapes, fantasy worlds, and stormy emotions of the verse; but the large pictures leave no space for readers to imagine what the words suggest, and much of the type is hard to read because it's printed right on the dark, full-page paintings. In the Coleridge and Wordsworth collections there is a lot more white space, and the illustrations evoke each poet's world without totally overwhelming the verbal images. None of this classic poetry is easy reading, and all three books will work best for reading aloud and group discussion. Hazel Rochman
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