|The House (Creative Editions, 2009) is a gorgeous poem/picture book by J. Patrick Lewis, stunningly illustrated by Roberto Innocenti (love that name).
The house, built in 1656, is the main character of this story. The rhyming (but definitely not silly) poem tells the story of what the house experiences in the 20th century–alternating between one quatrain and small illustration per spread and double-spread illustrations.
One of my favorite quatrains is the one for 1915:
Midsummer’s dress is maid-of-honor green.
–from The House, by J. Patrick Lewis, all rights reserved
Maybe this one strikes me especially because I’m headed to Atlanta in a couple of weeks. My nephew, who’s in the Army, is getting married, and then he ships overseas in February or March. So while we can’t afford the trip in terms of time, money, missed work and school, we’re making life hold its breath so we can go enjoy this celebration.
When I received The House in the mail, I was headed out of town. I love Pat’s work, though, and I thought, "Oh, I’ll just give this a quick read before I head out." But then I picked it up. When I really looked at the cover, at all the play of light and shadow, I thought, "Hmmm…this might require more than a skim." When I opened the book and read the introduction, told in first person by the house, and including phrases like, "I hear laughter and guns. I came to know storms, hammers and saws, and, finally, desertion," I set it aside as a treat for when I got back home.
Check this book out, and save it for a time when you have a bit of quiet, a large mug of hot chocolate, and a mood for contemplation.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Elaine at Wild Rose Reader, who graciously stepped forward when nobody could find a schedule for today. Thanks, Elaine!