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American Poems: Books: Neighborhood Odes
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 Home » Books » Neighborhood Odes

Neighborhood Odes

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  • Sales Rank:12,874,036
  • Language:English (Published)
  • Media:Audio Cassette
  • Running Time:45 Minutes
  • Publication Date:1994
  • ISBN:0153025123
  • EAN:9780153025129
  • ASIN:0153025123

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
Used for audio listening enjoyment or for use as read-along with text. - - - - -The Hispanic neighborhood in Soto's 21 poems is brought sharply into focus by the care with which he records images of everyday life: the music of an ice cream vendor's truck, the top of a refrigerator where old bread lies in plastic, dust released into the air when a boy strums a guitar. The diverse voices include that of a 12-year-old girl "with hair that sings / like jump ropes" and a fourth-grade boy whose new teeth create the "racket / Of chicharron / Being devoured . . . ." The vocabulary sprinkled with Spanish remains consistent, as doesthe form of the poems, which fall in long vertical columns with short lines. The tight clumps of language reproduce the quality of rapid and playful conversation. Affectionate without being overly sentimental, the collection provides a good introduction to contemporary poetry as well as a fine homage to a Chicano community. Diaz's woodcuts complement the poems perfectly: the silhouettes are fanciful and dynamic but do not draw attention from the words on the page. - - - - - - - - - - - - - The rewards of well-chosen words that create vivid, sensitive images await readers of this collection of poems. Through Soto's keen eyes, they see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything. The odes celebrate weddings, the anticipation of fireworks, pets, grandparents, tortillas, and the library. Although Soto is dealing with a Chicano neighborhood, the poetry has a universal appeal. A minor drawback is that the Spanish words are not translated on the page, but in a glossary; to consult it interrupts the reading. Still, children will surely recognize the joy,love, fear, excitement, and adventure Soto brings to life. Each selection is an expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries.

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