Previewing ‘The Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry’ Ahead Of National Poetry Month

by Olly MacNamee

Out today in book stores is this fine looking new anthology of illustrated poetry that’s out just a day ahead of the USA’s National Poetry Month this April and a great resource any teachers out there, like me.

The Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry, includes 24 classic poems — from Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird” to W. B. Yeats’ “When You Are Old” is published by Plough Publishing Press and illustrated by Montreal based cartoonist Julian Peters.

Here’s Peters take on this project and his passions for poetry:

Poetry and comics may seem like an unlikely combination, but the two art forms actually share a number of common elements. In setting out to turn beautiful poetry into comics, I wanted to pay tribute to the way these poems made me feel, to spend time with them, to pull them in as close to me as possible in the way that, as someone who draws comics, felt the most natural.

Here’s “Jukebox Love Song” by Langston Hughes as illustrated by Peters

And, as an afterthought, maybe consider your own favourite short poem and have a go at illustrating it over the coming month. After all, many of us are already in isolation. Why not make it a productive and creative time?

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