Footprints on the Roof: Poems about the Earth

by Marilyn Singer and Meilo So

Marilyn Singer’s nineteen original poems offer perspectives on the natural... read more

Marilyn Singer’s nineteen original poems offer perspectives on the natural world that range from lyrical and delicate to boldy unsettling. These poems brim with acute turns of phrase. “The same night the window cracked / the rain turned hard-hearted / the ground turned mean” begins the poem titled “Ice.” In “Back to Nature,” Singer writes, “We cover the earth / with asphalt / tarmac / concrete / brick / We want to be far away / from humus / moss and leaf mold / from things soft and unpredictable / that slide beneath our feet.” And yet, she concludes, even in the city, there is nature, “turning the pavement soft and unpredicatable / making it slide beneath our feet.” Almost all of the highly accessible poems have a first-person voice in the singular or plural that firmly grounds readers/listeners in the moment and mood. And each of the poems is accompanied by a graceful black-and-white ink drawing by Meilo So. (Ages 10-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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