105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: A Mirror to Nature

While I was helping my mom in Baltimore, I had a little reprieve every day. I took each opportunity to head down to the Inner Harbor, finding a bit of peace by the water even with the crowds. There's a magic to water that I find reflected in today's poetry book - reflected being a key word.

A Mirror to Nature: Poems About Reflection
by Jane Yolen, photographs by Jason Stemple

Wordsong 2009, review from library copy

A Mirror to Nature: Poems About ReflectionBringing together photographs and poems is only the first layer of pairing in this picture book of poetry. Each spread features a photograph of an animal, reflected back in a body of water, along with a descriptive poem and a fact about the animal. The photographs have a simple, natural artistry composing and shaping the mirror theme, as the concepts of reflection, pairs, and water weave throughout the poetry. The most eye-catching photographs in the book feature deeper contrast between the represented animal and the landscape, but many of the selections have more subtle distinctions and a muted color scheme. Even the cover itself - lovely with its play of light, water, and reflection - seems like a hard sell for kids. The poems hit the right note, featuring haiku, couplets, and free verse and clever interpretations of the motif. As a sample, here is my favorite:
Coyote Landscape

For the moment, you are as still
As the roots, rocks, snow.
Only the water runs fast,
As fast as you, when you go

Whipping the wind, blazing the trail,
Following the panting prey.
But now, for a moment, you stand statue still
Reflecting on the day.

- written by Jane Yolen
Poetry Friday is hosted today at Dori Reads. Don't forget to apply to be a Cybils judge - especially in the Poetry category!

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Anonymous said...

We were just having a discussion at #kidlitchat the other day about whether kids are still into poetry. It's nice to see more of it being published just for them!

Mary Lee said...

Ilana, kids might not be into poetry on their own, but all it takes is one enthusiastic teacher/librarian and a classroom library/shelf full of enticing poetry books, and they are IN!

Thanks for highlighting this gorgeous book of reflections, MR.

Linda B said...

I've seen many of Yolen's books, but not this one. Thank you for showing it off. The coyote poem is beautiful. The image of stillness makes quite a picture doesn't it? Thanks!

Doraine said...

Thanks for sharing this one. I hadn't see it either. And thanks for joining in on Poetry Friday.

Ann Summerville said...

The cover alone is amazing.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Sounds beautiful - thanks, MotherReader!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

How lovely! Can't wait to get my hands and eyes and ears on this one! My summer has been challenging too so I can totally relate you your desire to get right into fall. I am hoping for a easy slide for both of us!