“Poems to See By” by Julian Peters
This stunning anthology of favorite poems visually interpreted by comic artist Julian Peters breathes new life into some of the greatest English-language poets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free on Netgalley, for an honest and unbiased review.
I haven’t reviewed a poetry anthology before but I’m glad this is my first one off the bat. A stunning visual portrayal of works of art by the infamous Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings and Maya Angelou (to name a few), “Poems to See By” is a beautiful experience for those artistic souls out there.
The poetry, in itself, is a vast and uplifting collection. Covering various themes and topics such as identity, hope, life and death and supplemented by various art forms ranging from ink-based to comics and manga, Peters pays tribute to these poets’ creations as well as creating his own original work, adding a new layer of depth to the poems.
Although I don’t have the technical artistic terms down, the lack of knowledge in the field of art didn’t take away from the experience. I’ve always felt that poetry, literature and any form of art (visual or not) is a highly personal affair. To see this artist bring these poems to life through a mix of monochrome panels, dominant color schemes and splashes of his artist’s muse showing through is a delight. The varied nature of the styles for each poem also goes to show Peters’ talent as an illustrator.
In a world where the people’s experience is highly shaped by visual media and senses, it surprises me that the idea of combining artwork with written forms of literature hasn’t been done before. I’m glad that this was my first experience of that sort. Peters delivers nothing short of artistic mastery and a newfound depth for poems that have shaped the world.
An original and wonderful way to experience poetry and introduce new generations to the work of classic poets and renowned names in the field, I urge any and everyone to grab their own copy of the book and allow themselves to feel the magic it provides.