Thursday, December 26, 2013

Timeless Legacy of Poetry

Friendship and Other Poems

By Marguerite de Angeli

A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman

While searching the local library section for a book of poetry, I was surprised to locate a copy of this collection of poems by Marguerite de Angeli. I immediately had fond memories of her children's book, the Newbery Medal winning "A Door in the Wall," a poignant tale of a crippled child in plague-ridden London. The first page of Friendship and other Poems was a personal message from the author to the reader as to why she wrote this soon to be last book at the age of 90. 



With rich imagery and beautiful prose, Marguerite not only paints a picture with words but masterfully touches one’s heart. For example, in the poem Sunset, the author writes, “Gilds the crenelated towers of the churches here and there, Intensifies the hue of flowers makes thy lovely face more fair.” The carefully chosen description creates not only a setting, but an emotion. I was further delighted with the sounds of bacon, smells of coffee, and the theme of hope which is established early in the poem titled “The Promise,” and continues with similar themes of respect, support, and love to the end of the collection. 

Marguerite de Angeli Sketching at Cape May Point (Lapeer County Library)

Marguerite de Angeli engraves not only these sensory images of childhood, marriage, parenting, grand parenting, friendship, separation, and ultimate “Transcendence,” but connects with young and old alike.  Her own rich life-experiences inspire many of the topics such as the poem, Maury’s 44 Birthday, as she gives the advice that “Success, which hides behind time’s lag.” My personal favorite poem was Transcendence. 


I highly recommend, Friendship and Other Poems by Marguerite de Angeli. The author is not only a brilliant children’s author but a talented and inspiring poet whose writings are timeless and a true legacy for all readers.

Marguerite de Angeli at Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania Ceremony

(Lapeer County Library)



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