Thursday, January 10, 2019

Soaring Earth -- Book Review

Happy Poetry Friday!

This week's Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by the energetic and prolific writer, Kat Apel. I love what Kat brings to the table. Fresh ideas, real experience with readers and writers and a dash of fun. Thanks so much for hosting this week, Kat.

I just finished reading Soaring Earth: A companion memoir to Enchanted Air by our Young People's Poet Laureate, Margarita Engle (Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2018). Check out Anansesem's cover reveal of the book and the author's writing goals that made it happen in the link below.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

I started reading slowly, with every intention of pacing myself. But, with most of Margarita's books, I got hooked....and read past my bedtime, again. 

The word that comes to mind as I read Soaring Earth is brave. 

Below are some of quotations from poems that made me feel a part of this memoir also. 

Magic, that.

p. 9
Reaching back into one's former self as an observer and recorder is brave. Margarita gives a glimpse into her life as a high school student in love with books and boys. Her intelligence and love of learning set her apart from many of her peers in a way that landed her at Berkeley as an extra-young freshman in  the nineteen-sixties. 


The era was not one to protect young people. So many were dying in Vietnam, protesting the war at home, trying to make sense of assassinations and unrest. Throughout it all, Margarita leans on Quaker strength and her curious mind to move forward, find friends, live a peaceful life. It was not easy. There were dangers. She had good fortune. She worked hard and persevered. She did not fall off the spinning earth.

p. 151

Beautiful cover art was created by Cuban American artist, Edel Rodriguez. I played with it a little bit in setting the quotations in it. It suits the book perfectly.

I sincerely hope Poetry Friday friends will make reading Soaring Earth a part of 2019. Its lovely poetry and incredible poetic memoir mentor text.


  1. Thanks for sharing Margarita Engle's new memoir "Soaring Earth" Linda. A few months ago I finished reading "Enchanted Air," and also was forced to stay up late reading chapter after chapter…
    I'm sure the same will happen when I read this companion book. "looking at the winged future of a crawling caterpillar" how wonderful to have these quotes to escape into…

  2. Linda, I am also grateful for your sharing of Magarita Engle's memoir. From the quotes you displayed, I believe this is a book I will need to read. This post is a magical one indeed.

  3. I loved Enchanted Air, have this on my list for when it's out, Linda. You shared some beautiful words, very enticing. I'm glad you connected and made them your inspiration. Thanks!

  4. Oh, you always make me feel so special, Linda! You are too kind. Thank-you for sharing Margarita's treasures - and your pairing of text and images. That winged caterpillar... #heartsoars

  5. O dear Linda, appreciations for your visit with this new one from Margarita Engle. It sounds like a book to dwell with, as you did, non-stop. And how magically you've webbed her words with the illuminated line-drawings of Edel Rodriguez. I was fortunate to meet M.E. once & still feel fairy-touched by that time.
    Happy New Year of posts, too!

  6. I'm looking forward to reading Margarita's newest book, and your post makes me want to read it more. The quotes you chose totally resonate with this lover of the "bookworm life." I love how you connected the quotes and art. I would like to try doing this.

  7. Hi LInda, and thank you for this look at SOARING EARTH. I love your "brave" connection. Perhaps *you* will write a poetic memoir?? xo

  8. You should look into a book marketing job, Linda. I met and worked with Margarita at the Poetry Foundation Summer Institute last year and I think I was not in the right mode to appreciate what she said about ENCHANTED AIR. But now I think I'm ready to plunge in. Thanks for the highlight!

    1. One of the authors that visited my suggested the same. I do love advocacy and promotion. Hmmmmmm.

  9. Thanks for the review! It's on my TBR for sure!

  10. Oh, such a beautiful review of this book. I love your art/quotation combinations and your words and Margarita Engle's make me want to dive into this book. Now if only I could read for more than 15 minutes at night before falling asleep...

  11. On my list, too - thank you, Linda, for this beautiful peek & for your insights!

  12. Thanks for sharing this, Linda - I shall be on the lookout for it now. Love Margarita's work!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!