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Seeing into tomorrow : haiku by Richard Wright
2018
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Crews pairs sweeping photocollages with a dozen haiku written by Native Son author Wright during the final year of his life (he wrote some 4,000 haiku in total, 800 of which were later published, explains Crews in biographical notes). Candid images show African-American boys in fields and forests, docks and porches, in scenes that echo Wright's musings. "As my delegate,/ My shadow imitates me/ This first day of spring," he writes as a boy chases his shadow across snow-spattered grass. Elsewhere, a boy and an elderly man observe a patchwork freight train: "Empty railroad tracks:/ A train sounds in the spring hills/ And the rails leap with life." The clustered, overlapping photographs scatter and dissipate at the edges of the spreads, subtly reflecting the evanescence of the moments Wright describes. Ages 5-10. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-This book collects 12 of Wright's outstanding haiku, written 50 years ago and still available in the anthology, Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon. The poems offer a view of the world through the lens of his experience, but the appreciation of nature and the emotions felt in such moments have a universal appeal. Crews uses photo collage to illustrate each scene. She explains, "I photographed African American boys for this book, because I wanted the reader to imagine the world through a young brown boy's eyes." Crews shows familiar scenes of boys playing on a shady porch, walking a dog, or writing in snow with a mittened finger. Her chosen medium emphasizes how haiku creates snapshots of single instances or feelings. The final poem ends with the phrase "seeing into tomorrow," which inspired the book's title. On the page, readers will see a young boy gazing up into a brilliant blue sky as if he can glimpse the future. An archival photo of Wright reading to his young daughter accompanies the introduction, and a brief biography of Wright along with a list for further reading is included in the back matter. VERDICT A must for all children's collections. These verses are an introduction to haiku as well as an entry point into Wright's work; they can be read aloud to younger children or enjoyed independently by older readers.-Suzanne Costner, Fairview Elementary School, Maryville, TN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
<p>A remarkable celebration of Richard Wright, poetry, and contemporary black boys at play.<br> From walking a dog to watching a sunset to finding a beetle, Richard Wright's haiku puts everyday moments into focus. Now, more than fifty years after they were written, these poems continue to reflect our everyday experiences. Paired with the photo-collage artwork of Nina Crews, Seeing into Tomorrow celebrates the lives of contemporary African American boys and offers an accessible introduction to one of the most important African American writers of the twentieth century.</p>
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