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In The Mermaid's Purse, Ted Hughes explores the ocean. From starfish and seagulls to mermaids and monsters, 28 poems capture the beauty, drama, and mystery of the sea and the seashore. Here is the ghostly cormorant: "Drowned fishermen come back/As famished cormorants/With bare and freezing webby toes/Instead of boots and pants." The strange and comical flounder: "The flounder sees/Through crooked eyes./Through crooked lips/The flounder cries." And the mermaid herself: "Call her a fish,/Call her a girl./Call her the pearl/Of an oyster fresh/On its pearly dish."
By turns lyrical, whimsical, and robust, The Mermaid's Purse showcases the distinctive voice and appreciation of the natural world that made Ted Hughes among the most respected of late-20th-century poets. Made doubly accessible by Flora McDonnell's distinctive black-and-white art, this sea-themed collection will delight children and be welcomed by educators.
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"Hughes demonstrated a profound love for the sea and its creatures...Flora McDonnell's black-and-white illustrations add just the right touch..."
-The Orlando Sentinel, April 16, 2000
"Hughes is, quite simply, a writer of such skill that his work makes other poets' creations wilt in comparison...McDonnell's black-and-white art splashes across ths compact pages...Catch this poetic wave."
-The Bulletin, June 2000
Grade 4-8-As in Moon Whales and Other Moon Poems (1976) and Under the North Star (1981; o.p., both Viking), Hughes's words evoke the elemental power that defines the poems' subjects. Each of the 28 selections explores the nature of a different sea creature. Hughes conjures an encounter with a monster of the deep ("So huge, so near,/So really here,/Your stare goes dry/To see me come/So like a swan,/So slow, so high/You cannot cry-"); the mystery in a shell ("You may wash out the sand/But never the sound/Of the ghost of the sea/That is haunting me"); and the artistry of a whale ("And wild as a hand/Among harp strings/Plunging through all/The seas she sings"). McDonnell's dramatic black-and-white paintings capture each poem's mood. While this is not the author's strongest collection, The Mermaid's Purse is still a rich source of thoughtful images by a master poet.
Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf, NY, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Flora McDonnell (illustrator). 1st Edition. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Book. Seller Inventory # 040131
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110375805699
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375805699
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2000. Condition: New. Flora McDonnell (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0375805699