105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: The Seldom-Ever Shady Glades

The Seldom-Ever Shady GladesThe Seldom-Ever Shady Glades: Poems and Quilts by Sue Van Wassenhove is one of the most beautiful books ever created. I kid you not. Unbelievable in its scope, the book uses intricate, gorgeous quilts as the backgrounds for poetry about the Florida Everglades. I can’t imagine ever being able to create even one of these quilts — and there are, like, twenty of them! Just amazing.

The poems vary in style, with some long and elegant, others light and funny. Here’s one I particularly liked about the tricolor heron:
The Tiny Shy Tri

It’s amazing
the tiny, shy tri
can find fish each day.

Its squawking
fly cry
should scare fish away.

But each flapping
spry try
snags a fish as its pay.
The accompanying quilt features three herons and is so detailed that it shows the rippled reflections of the birds and the marsh grasses in the blue water. Honestly, I don’t know whether to read this book or frame it. I had heard about it from poetry-lover Kelly Fineman, and based on her glowing review I requested a copy from the publisher. I rarely do that, but I had to see it for myself and I was not disappointed.

The focus is mainly birds, but the alligators and palm trees make appearances too. My favorite page is an absolutely breathtaking undersea quilt that features a poem perfect for a poetry slam.

And Portuguese
sea men-of-war
patrol the shore.
Oh, don’t you wish
moon jelly fish
had jelly bellies?
Weren’t so smelly?
Had no stringy
things that sting?
You know, this book would be a lovely gift for quilters, poets, and birders. And with the holidays just around the corner...

Today, Poetry Friday is hosted by Author Amok. Also, the Cybils announce the Poetry panel for this year! And hey, there I am as the organizer and panelist for Picture Books! Yeah, okay, I knew that, but I’m still excited to be part of the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards. I’ll be back Monday with more Cybils stuff, but for now check out the site as I take off for one last trip to the beach.


TadMack said...

This is really cool! I'm not a quilter, but know tons of people who would love it -- and the poetry it includes!

Kelly Fineman said...

I'm so glad you like it. I haven't heard all that much buzz for it, but I thought it was decidedly buzz-worthy.

Charlotte said...

That does look lovely!

ellsworth said...

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Candice Ransom