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The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman

Source: Gift
Hardcover, 30 pgs.
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The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman is a beautiful book that tries to hold the hope of this poem inside its covers, but fails. The hope of Gorman’s poem oozes out of the stanzas, breaks free from the line breaks, and sizzles off the page. It’s hard to believe that she’s only our 6th poet to read at an inauguration. Where have these presidents been that they didn’t seek the powerful words of poets in their own times?

I digress. The foreword in this book is by Oprah Winfrey, and it’s about what you would expect it to be. She pulls quotes from the poem like many reviewers do and she talks about Gorman’s words, the themes, and more. But I wasn’t overly impressed with it and felt that the poem can stand on its own, just as it did at the inauguration.

It’s funny because I started this blog so many years ago, looking at individual poems in magazines, rather than full collections. And here I am again, looking at a single poem that is as powerful and beautiful as the world around us. We just need our eyes to be opened.

Is our world broken? In some ways, it is. And we do carry our losses, like we wade in the sea and the “norms” are not “justice” or “just is,” they are ripe for change and we can make them… for the better. “Victory,” Gorman says, “won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges/we’ve made.” We mustn’t forget, “History has its eyes on us.”

RATING: Cinquain

Mailbox Monday #663

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Velvet, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

This is what we received:

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #661

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Velvet, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

This is what we received:

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman, which was a surprise in the mail.

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning. Call Us What We Carry reveals that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.

the moon won’t be dared by Anne Leigh Parrish for review.

the moon won’t be dared is a poetry collection by award-winning author Anne Leigh Parrish that features artwork by Lydia Selk. In this momentous debut collection, the poet harnesses language to give readers a new vision of nature, the impossible plight of womanhood, love, aging, and beauty. Being a woman in a male-dominated society affords Anne Leigh Parrish the space to witness the world on an uneven keel. Parrish pays tribute to beauty, but also weaves the harsh truths of betrayal and brutality into the filaments holding the collection together.

What did you receive?

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long

Source: Purchased
Hardcover, 32 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long, is an anthem for change and its images will inspire kids to take action now, rather than think change is something adults have to do. I loved how this book opens with a young girl and her guitar, humming a song – a song of change.

The illustrations in this book are colorful and full of depth, really well shadowed and highlighted. With the opening pages, the young girl is alone on a white background — the white signifying the possibilities around her that aren’t realized and she’s alone, demonstrating that changes starts with each person. This young girl walks by MLK in a mural about dreaming and change, meeting a young musician on the street.

Together, they start small, cleaning up a local park and then helping another young boy, and with each moment of aide they provide, they bring the music of change with them. Gorman’s words speak to the courage it takes to be tolerant and patient with others who are not nice to you; how it is better to build bridges, rather than fences; and all the while building communities of change, hope, and empathy.

Gorman brings together words with Long’s images to create a beautiful picture book about loving yourself, your neighbor, creating community, and making changes in your own hometown. Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long, is a delight and I love the simplicity of the words to convey a complex message to kids. It empowers them to take matters into their own hands, creating change in their own backyards.

RATING: Cinquain

Mailbox Monday #650

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Velvet, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

This is what we received:

The Parisian Dancer by Doron Darmon, a Kindle freebie.

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable novel about a brave woman and her heroic actions, which provided pure hope in a world of darkness.

Paris, 1939: Marek and Annette, who escaped from Poland following the pogroms against the Jews, lead a simple and happy life in France’s capital, together with their two young children. Their Christian neighbor, Helena, an immigrant from Italy who dances at the Folies Bergère nightclub for a living, develops a close relationship with the couple, at the center of which is a secret affair with Marek.

When the Nazis enter Paris, the family’s life, as well as Helena’s, is about to change. Marek embarks on a mission to arrange for his family’s escape but soon disappears without a trace. Annette realizes that time is not on her side, and surrenders her children to the protection of the Dubois family, owners of the neighborhood bakery.

As the Nazis strengthen their hold on the city of Paris, aided by French collaborators, the Dubois family becomes exceedingly more anxious of their situation, until finally, they turn to Helena and beg her to provide a safe home for the children. Bravely, and without hesitation, Helena fulfills her promise to protect her friends’ children at any cost.

But will the beautiful dancer be enough to save them from a terrible fate?

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long, which I pre-ordered and am very excited to read.

A lyrical picture book debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long

“I can hear change humming
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don’t fear change coming,
And so I sing along.”

In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes—big or small—in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.

With lyrical text and rhythmic illustrations that build to a dazzling crescendo by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, Change Sings is a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference.

Geographies of the Heart by Caitlin Hamilton Summie for review.

Sarah Macmillan always puts her family first, but as she ages, she can’t quite stretch her arms wide enough to hold on to everyone: her career-minded and inattentive younger sister, Glennie; their grandparents, who are slowly fading; or the late-in-life pregnancy Sarah desperately wanted. But it’s her tumultuous relationship with Glennie that gives Sarah the greatest worry. She’d always believed that their relationship was foundational, even unbreakable. Though blessed with a happy marriage to Al, whose compassion and humor she admires, Sarah grows increasingly bitter about Glennie’s absences, until one decision forces them all to decide what family means, and who family is. Narrated by the chorus of their three voices, this elegantly told and deeply moving novel examines the pull of tradition, the power of legacies, and the fertile but fragile ground that is family, the first geography to shape our hearts.

What did you receive?