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Sweet Corn: Poems    by James Stevenson order for
Sweet Corn
by James Stevenson
Order:  USA  Can
Beech Tree, 1999 (1995)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Look at the world frontwards, backwards, sideways and upside down through James Stevenson's unique, whimsical poems. This Corn series of collections of verse brings back the wonder of childhood. The author uses different fonts, clever graphic design, and appealing watercolor illustrations to convey and reinforce his ideas.

In this collection I especially enjoyed Tree House ('Mountaineers and pirates / Ascend and descend, / Busy as inchworms'), the Injustice of little kids always being stuck in the back seat, a Ladder like an old man ('A few rungs missing at the end'), and the exuberance of Summer Storm, after which 'We'll throw our sneakers off and race / To muddy puddles deep and warm / And kick the water back into the sky.'

But every one of these poems is worth a thoughtful read, both the ones that leave you happy and those like 'I hope he knows where he's going' Old Dog that are a little sad - they're all sweet as corn.

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