Stone Bench in an Empty Park

by Paul B. Janeczko and Henri Silberman

An innovative collection of poetry takes haiku out of its traditional element--scenes... read more

An innovative collection of poetry takes haiku out of its traditional element--scenes of nature associated with the country or other rural settings. In his introduction, compiler Paul B. Janeczko writes, “I gathered the poems for this collection because I wanted young writers to see that poetry and nature abound in the city as well as in the suburbs or country.” The result is an exquisite collection of paired haiku poems and photographs that capture in breathtaking detail moments of city life when nature is present. “We need to look closely at what is around us,” Janeczko writes. “If we look closely enough, we will see poetry.” It is hard to imagine readers of this collection not being inspired to stop and look more closely, to see poems in their daily lives, and to realize that moments with meaning can sometimes be as quiet as a “stone bench in an empty park.” The black-and-white photographs are printed in duotone. The images by photographer Henri Silberman, respond to the individual poems and are crisp yet soft, suggesting both the keen eye and the subtlety that is at the heart of haiku. (Age 9 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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