From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up—Continuing in the vein of Heart to Heart
(Abrams, 2001), Greenberg invited poets from around the world to identify a work of art and create a poem about it. In doing so, she not only gathered poetry and art, but also connects readers to global cultures and traditions. Many of the selections were written in languages other than English, and the original and translated poems share center stage, side by side, with the artwork that inspired the verse. This stellar anthology is arranged in four categories. In "Stories," the poet looks at art and imagines a story. In "Voices," the poet speaks as a subject depicted in the poem; "Expressions" explores the process of looking at, asking questions, and interpreting the art, and in "Impressions," the poet describes the artwork and elements of the composition. The careful arrangement seamlessly draws readers' focus to the themes of art and literature, as in Günter Kunert's poem "Der Schre
i/The Scream" (translated by Gerald Chapple) about Edvard Munch's painting. Poets and artists who are familiar to Western readers, such as Pat Mora, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, appear side by side with poets and artists who are less widely recognized. The book includes biographies of all the poets, translators, and artists and a world map that identifies each contributor's native country. This sophisticated book is ideal for literature, art, and foreign-language curricula. It creates cultural bridges and celebrates the genius of inspired translation.—Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
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*Starred Review* Following a similar format to her 2002 Printz Honor Book, Heart to Heart, Greenberg offers another anthology of accomplished poems inspired by artworks. In this volume, Greenberg extends the book’s geographical reach beyond the U.S., bringing together the work of poets and artists from around the globe. As in Heart to Heart, the poems are grouped loosely into categories, defined in Greenberg’s inspirational introduction. Some tell stories; some speak in the voice of an object in the artwork; some explore the interaction between a viewer and an art object; and some focus on the elements of an artwork’s composition. Each spread features a poem in its original language, the English translation, and an artwork, usually from the same country or culture as the poem. With a few exceptions, the reproductions of the art, which ranges from ancient to contemporary work, are sharp and clear, and the moving, often startling poems invite readers to savor the words and then look closely at each image. Teens will easily connect with the poems’ universal themes, including identity, childhood memories, nature’s mysterious power, and the powerful emotions and experiences that link us all. Biographical information about both the poets and the artists concludes this welcome title, which makes a natural partner to Naomi Shihab Nye’s This Same Sky (1992). Grades 8-12. --Gillian Engberg