Friday, June 24, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Carol's Corner.

My selection is "Ellington was not a street" written by Ntozake Shange with illustrations by Kadir Nelson.

Drawing upon her 1983 poem, "Mood Indigo," Shange invites readers to share moments from her childhood when her family hosted such notables as Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Dubois and of course, Duke Ellington.  Shange's name is familiar from her adult works, but here she has created a picture book for older readers that provides a glimpse into the heart of the Harlem Renaissance.   Most of these African American men, though well known from their contributions to the culture of the previous century, are familiar to children only as names in a book -- Shange brings them vividly to life.   

Nelson reflects the little girl's point of view in paintings that radiate with an energy that is all their own.  The book concludes with a group portrait of several of the men and biographical notes.

1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

Music and poetry go so well together!

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