The collected works of 129 poets from 68 countries are contained in this
anthology. Nye has purposely not selected poets born in the
United States intending to introduce
poets "who have shared the twentieth century from many other vantage points" (Nye, 1992).
The book is broken into sections including family, nature, loss, and dreams.
Annotations explaining vocabulary or phrases perhaps unknown to the reader are noted at the bottom of many poems.
These poems allow a glimpse into the thoughts and daily life of people and
cultures very different from ours. Yet in many poems there is a common thread
linking us together. For instance in the Irish poem, The First Shoe, the poet watches a 'man-baby' take his first steps in his first shoes. The poem states, "You have a long road to travel and tying your shoe is only the first tying" (Nye p. 83). A parent anywhere feels this as they watch their children venture forth into the world!
The poems cover a range of emotions; sadness, despair, anger and laughter. Some
poems are difficult to understand and "require an adult perspective to be appreciated" (SLJ 1992). This collection is appropriate for upper grade students and would be lend itself to interesting discussion
within a classroom. The author includes notes about each contributor at
the end of the book adding authenticity to this collection. The indexes, broken down by poet and country, would prove
a useful tool for teachers and librarians planning multicultural units.
says it best, "I think of a house with a thousand glittering windows. I think
of poets over the ages sending their voices out into the sky, leaving quiet, indelible trails". We need a book that helps build bridges across our common humanity.
1992. School library journal. Available from
http://www.amazon.com. Accessed 07 June 04.