Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: This is Just to Say

This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
By Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
Published 2007 by Houghton Mifflin

This book is lovely, but it fooled me. I had no idea that this was a fictional anthology until I just looked up the publication information! I just assumed Sidman had edited it. But, alas, she is the actual author of this wonderful mixture of types of poetry. Taking the William Carlos Williams poem that shares its title as its basis, Sidman present a fictional class that is asked to pen poems of apology to anyone they feel they have wronged. The recipients of these apology poems are then given a chance to respond (poetically, of course) in the second half of the anthology. Some of the poems deal with some heavy topics but all are beautifully written. The illustrations are absolutely perfect for the tone of this book and just very pleasant to look at. My only criticism here is that I think I would have liked the layout to have the apology poem and the response poem on opposing pages. I think they are best read in conjunction and it's a bit annoying to flip back and forth through the pages to see them alongside each other. But, very enjoyable.

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