I am glad to be joining the Poetry Friday community hosted this week by Violet from Violet Nesdoly.
As part of our current reading theme that looks back on the best of the best in books in the year that was, I searched for poetry titles published in 2016 and found quite a few. Here is one that’s been receiving a lot of rave reviews – all justified, I thought.
Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths
Written by: Marilyn Singer Illustrated by: Josée Masse
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016
ISBN: 0803739923 (ISBN13: 9780803739925). Borrowed a copy from the Jurong West Public Library. Book Photos taken by me.
I have always been fascinated with Greek myths. My earliest remembrances of cautionary tales as a child would include Pandora’s Box, King Midas and the Golden Touch (that was the title of the story I read then), Icarus and Narcissus – just to cite a few. It made me marvel at a world filled with whimsical gods and goddesses who can punish or reward mortals as they see fit.
Reading Marilyn Singer’s newest reverso poetry book reminded me of my forgotten childhood when I was lost in books, avidly reading these stories that I could not get enough of. The fascinating thing about this picturebook is that Singer managed to capture the very essence of truly remarkable and timeless tales and distill them in such challenging verse, a poetic form that she invented herself. She also included a brief summary of the story behind the poem as a footnote to provide context to readers unfamiliar with some of the Greek myths.
I am also especially taken by Masse’s art. I’ve always loved her portrayal of Singer’s poetry in Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow – but this one is made more special for me somehow because I’ve always held Greek myths in such awe, and I felt that she has outdone herself this time around.
For my Poetry Friday offering, I would like to share one of the poems in this collection that I felt conveyed the beauty of life’s myriad destinies played with and controlled by gods in our midst.