Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nature Poetry.

Llanas, Sheila Griffin.  Nature Poetry.  Enslow  2014  128p  $31.93  ISBN 978-0-7660-4244-5  ms/hs  series: Pure Poetry  Nonfiction  E-BNS

This volume, with its variety of poems from some of the most famous poets of all time, is an Enslow “Book of Note” as much for its selections as for its format.  In each chapter the author, Sheila Griffin Llanas, presents an introduction to a specific poet and his/her works, followed by a portrait in picture as well as in text.  In keeping with the nature theme, Llanas presents each poem surrounded by a green border.  The layout is perfect, simple and tastefully designed to present some of the best poems of all time.  Charlotte Turner Smith’s “To the Moon” is followed by Wordsworth’s “Lines Written in Early Spring”, Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight”, Clare’s “The Mouse’s Nest”, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “A Sea-Side Walk”, and other selections by Whitman, Dickinson and Dunbar.  In addition to biographical data, the portrait of the poets and the poems, Llanas offers a complete summary of each poem followed by an explication of its meaning, an examination of its style, technique and poetic devices, and an examination of its theme.  As if that weren’t enough, additional questions appear at the end of each poet’s chapter, and for further study, these questions are valuable, especially in light of the fact that possible answers are provided at the end of the book.  Additional text boxes offer definitions of the sonnet, Gothic literature, and other extras that enhance this already wonderful volume of poetry.   With this book, understanding poetry becomes a pleasurable experience.  

The series Pure Poetry analyzes poetry in these categories: beauty, death, love and nature.  The series offers poems by the world’s greatest poets along with biographical data, portraits, analyses and questions for further study.  

Summary: Poems by Smith, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Dickinson and others are examined thoroughly with respect to their themes, their poetic devices, their structures and their meanings.  Each poet’s life is shared in this valuable book which also examines the common use of nature in each poem.      

Poetry-Study and teaching                       --Martha Squaresky

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