August 17, 2016

All the World a Poem

by Gilles Tibo
Illustrated by Manon Gauthier
Translated by Erin Woods
Pajama Press
32 pp.
Ages 5+
August 2016

The title All the World a Poem, taken from a poem "The Great Voice" by American professor of horticulture Liberty Hyde Bailey, launches an ardent tribute to both poetry and the natural world by award-winning author Gilles Tibo and rising star Manon Gauthier whose artwork recently  enriched the text of Elliot (Julie Pearson, Pajama Press, March 2016).

All the World a Poem is a lyrical odyssey examining the richness of poems in shape and content, place and time, purpose and destination. According to Gilles Tibo’s dreamy text, poetry can be anything and everything, filled with grace and love, both reverent and impassioning.
A poem has fallen from the sky,
slipping from a cloud.
A second has sprouted from the earth
like a rainbow flower.
A third floated in from the sea,
bobbing at the end of the big pier.
I gather up the three poems
and hold them to my heart.
Then I continue my journey
toward the endless country
of verses yet to come.
(pg. 14)
From All the World a Poem
by Gilles Tibo, illus. by Manon Gauthier
The translation from Gilles Tibo’s French Poésies pour la vie (Isatis, 2015) is beautifully rendered by Pajama Press’ own Erin Woods, who also capably gave English voice to Elliot (Pajama Press, 2016).  The text is sublime, a celebration of sounds and rhythms and expressive verse.  And Manon Gauthier again creates her distinctive illustrations of paper collage art that gives texture and whimsy a totally unique look.  The luxuriance of the words and the art is almost overwhelming in its intimate beauty.

All the World a Poem has the lightness and spiritual delicacy that suggests it could take flight. Fortunately, readers will discover that All the World a Poem has effortlessly become tethered by heart strings to our glorious world.
From All the World a Poem 
by Gilles Tibo, illus. by Manon Gauthier

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