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Compiled by Mary Downie and Barbara Robertson. Illustrated by Elizabeth Cleaver.
Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press, 1984.
110pp., paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-19-540432-7. paperbound boards, $15.95. ISBN 0-19-540431-9. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Canadian poetry.
Children's poetry, Canadian.

Grades 1-6 / Ages 6-11

Reviewed by Joan Weller.

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

The beautiful cover on The New Wind Has Wings: Poems from Canada is an invitation to read and reflect. This revised edition of the 1968 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon award-winning book, The Wind Has Wings: Poems from Canada contains most of the poems included in the original, along with many new poems profusely illustrated, again by Elizabeth Cleaver.

Traditional poets keep good company with contemporary poets: Robert Service, E.J. Pratt and Wilfred Campbell match well with A.M. Klein, Milton Acorn and Alfred Purdy, to name a few. Margaret Atwood is conspicuous by her absence, and one wishes more poems might have been included by Dennis Lee, Irving Layton, and sean o'huigin. It is difficult in any collection to meet the needs of all readers; in general, the compilers have chosen carefully and well, but one does wish for more representation from all parts of Canada, including more French poems either translated or in French and certainly more works from our native peoples.

The generally serious and reflective nature of the collection is given a vitality by Cleaver's outstanding artwork. Shimmering across the pages are familiar illustrations from the 1968 edition, as well as many new brilliantly coloured collages and soft-textured black-and-white lino cuts. The artist's continuing sensitivity to her work is shown in the new illustration for "At St. Jerome," and "Psalm of the Fruitful Field" is a "field of sunshine." The double-page painting entitled "In the Calm and Peaceable Kingdom" pays fitting homage to David Helwig's touching poem. Cleaver's artistry appropriately captures the mood and spirit of the poetry, whether in her black-and-white lino cut for "The Piano" or her rather horrific purple "GLUMP" for o'huigin's "ByeBye." The essence of the book is aptly stated in lines from Y.Y. Segal's "Rhymes": "Now they ring again/their bells and chimes,/and the children all sing/those respectable rhymes."

Joan Weller, Ottawa P.L., Ottawa, ON.
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