CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 16. . . .December 20, 2013
Poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke shares thoughts and feelings both lighthearted and deep in his first collection of children's poetry. Subject matter ranges from stars and space, seasons and sport, animals real and fantastical to music and day to day problems. Several poems are devoted to Clarke's daughter, Aurelia, written on the occasions of her first nine birthdays, commending her blossoming qualities and abilities.
With their simple straightforward language, some of the poems can pique the imagination: Can you make oceans bend, to cradle each lost whale? What child wouldn't be amused by the absurd ingredients of a dragon's picnic (snails, dirty underwear)? And there is truth-seeking to ponder: smile at troubles, and trouble's done, and sport is best when no score is kept. Clarke muses about music, color, love and sleep. In more subtle terms, he evokes the affirmation of one's beliefs about laws and poverty.
Rich imagery emerges here along with the artist's striking snowy nighttime scene:
This eclectic mix might appeal to a range of readerships, but perhaps it isn't a book that the youngest audience would choose to read independently.
Gillian Richardson is a freelance writer living in BC.
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