Earth Magic by Dionne Brand (Kids Can Poetry, 2006), illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes of One Hen fame, is a delightful book of poems celebrating the childhood memories of acclaimed Canadian poet Dionne Brand. Brand grew up in Guayguayare, Trinidad. The book was originally published in 1979 in homage to the Caribbean people whose lives Brand captures well in the poems. In them, we meet, for example, the “Fisherman,” the “Bottleman,” and “Old Woman.” We also meet the mystical forces of nature often personified — there’s the river of “deep green face” in “River” or the ‘day’ coming in “on an old brown bus/with two friends” in “Morning” or the wind describing his/her actions in the first person:
I heard a song and carried it with me
on my cotton streamers,
I dropped it on an ocean and lifted up a wave
with my bare hands
Fernandes does a wonderful job of illustrating these personifications with her colorful signature imagery and style. Check out some of the images from this book in PaperTigers Illustrator’s Gallery. The combination of Fernandes’ art with Brand’s poetry makes for compelling reading and viewing.
Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.