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Ten Illustrated Poetry Gift Books

Updated on November 10, 2013

Beautiful "Picture Books" for Adults

I love it when good poetry and good artwork collide! These are a few of my favorite things - la la la. Poetry and art together make great gifts and/or coffee table books.

THE BOOKS BELOW:

ARE HARDCOVER, FOR DURABILITY

CONTAIN GOOD POEMS

ARE ILLUSTRATED WITH INTERESTING ART

ARE WRITTEN FOR ADULTS (any age)

The question of common sense is always what is it [art] good for? - a question which

would abolish the rose and be answered triumphantly by the cabbage.

~ James Russell Lowell ~

May I Feel Said He - Whimsical look at love

Poetry by E.E. Cummings / Artwork by Marc Chagall

May I Feel Said He (Art & Poetry S)
May I Feel Said He (Art & Poetry S)

may i feel said he is a stunning marriage of art and poetry and a giddy celebration of love. The whimsical poem is by e.e. cummings; the artwork by Marc Chagall.

EXCERPT from the poem:

(may i touch said he

how much said she

a lot said he)

why not said she

(let's go said he

not too far said she

what's too far said he

where you are said she)

 

artistic style of Marc Chagall

artistic style of Marc Chagall
artistic style of Marc Chagall

Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds - This is a beautiful book!

Poems by various poets / Illustrated by David Allen Sibley

Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds
Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds

Here, in this substantial anthology, more than one hundred contemporary and classic poems are paired with close to sixty original, ornithologically precise illustrations. Part poetry collection, part field guide, part art book, Bright Wings presents verbal and visual interpretations of the natural world.

 

Shape of My Heart - Picasso & Sting - interesting combo

Poetry/Lyrics by Sting / artwork by Pablo Picasso

Shape Of My Heart (Art & Poetry Series)
Shape Of My Heart (Art & Poetry Series)

In this lovely, oversized book, Sting's words are spread across the pages and complemented with paintings by the visionary artist Pablo Picasso. This treatment allows for a leisurely and thoughtful contemplation of both the poetry and the artwork, as the words and images play with and against each other, sparking readers' imaginations.

EXCERPT from the poem/lyrics:

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier

I know that the clubs are weapons of war

I know that diamonds mean money for this art

But that's not the shape of my heart

That's not the shape, the shape of my heart

 

artistic style of Pablo Picasso

artistic style of Pablo Picasso
artistic style of Pablo Picasso

Anyone who says you can't see a thought simply doesn't know art.

~ Wynetka Ann Reynolds ~

The Illuminated Rumi - The illustrations are amazing

Poetry by Rum / Artwork by Michael Green

The Illuminated Rumi
The Illuminated Rumi

The Illuminated Rumi is a truly groundbreaking collaboration that interweaves word and image: a magnificent meeting of ancient tradition and modern interpretation that uniquely captures the spiritual wealth of Rumi's teachings. Coleman Barks's wise and witty commentary, together with Michael Green's art, makes this a classic guide to the life of the soul for a whole new generation of seekers.

EXCERPT from a Rumi poem:

Love has taken away my practices

and filled me with poetry.

I tried to keep quietly repeating,

No strength but yours

but I couldn't.

I had to clap and sing . . .

 

Time's River - Exlplores life from childhood to old age

A collection of poetry and art from around the world

Time's River: The Voyage of Life in Art and Poetry
Time's River: The Voyage of Life in Art and Poetry

Beginning with a celebration of childhood and ending with praise for the renewed creativity of age, this worldwide collection marries poems that illuminate the journey of life with splendid artworks from the National Gallery of Art. Turning its pages unfolds the age-old story of life's changing hopes and pleasures; loves and losses; struggles, epiphanies, and inner victories.

 

Dance Me To the End of Love - Delightful!

Poetry by Leonard Cohen / artwork by Matisse

Dance Me to the End of Love (Art & Poetry)
Dance Me to the End of Love (Art & Poetry)

The Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen has produced a surprising message of hopeful passion in this playful picture book for grownups in love. The 21 Matisse illustrations sprawl luxuriously across the pages. Art, poetry, and the suggestion of erotic delights... what more can a lover ask!

EXCERPT from poem/lyrics:

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on

Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long

We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above

Dance me to the end of love . . .

 

artistic style of Matisse

artistic style of Matisse
artistic style of Matisse

Grammar stops at love, and at art.

~ Terri Guillemets ~

Art & Nature: An Illustrated Anthology of Nature Poetry - Nature and poetry - a perfect match

Poetry and art by various poets and artists

Art & Nature: An Illustrated Anthology of Nature Poetry
Art & Nature: An Illustrated Anthology of Nature Poetry

This is an anthology of 186 nature poems, grouped by seasons of the year and matched with selected artwork from the Metropolitan Museum of Art collections. Every single page between the Contents and Acknowledgments has at least one picture, almost all in color, and from artists of many continents and time periods. (amazon reviewer)

 

The Lover's Companion: Art and Poetry of Desire - Poems and art with some commentary

Poetry and art by various poets and artists

The Lover's Companion : Art and Poetry of Desire
The Lover's Companion : Art and Poetry of Desire

With a keen eye and her trademark titillating humor, Dr. Ruth Westheimer explores how art and verse can enhance desire. The selections, pair a total of 60 poems and artwork. And as in the best relationships, each unconventional match exposes new, surprising aspects of both partners. Through chapter introductions and commentary, Dr. Ruth, helpful and refreshingly honest, reveals these nuances-and the ways in which they can touch readers.

 

Over the Rainbow - Interesting match of well-known song and art

Poetry/Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg's / Artwork by Maxfield Parrish

Over The Rainbow (Art & Poetry Series)
Over The Rainbow (Art & Poetry Series)

Very few songs have taken hold of our hearts and imaginations the way "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz has. These lyrics, so evocative of light and color, have found their perfect match in the paintings of Maxfield Parrish. His works seem to reflect of the words on each page with warmth, exuberance, and limitless possibilities.

EXCERPT from poem/lyrics:

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly

Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can't I?

(you probably know the rest)

 

artistic style of Maxfield Parrish

artistic style of Maxfield Parrish
artistic style of Maxfield Parrish

Seasons & Sonnets: Art and Poetry - The photography is stunning!

Poetry by Michael D. Petti / Photographs by Minerva Bloom

Seasons & Sonnets: Art and Poetry
Seasons & Sonnets: Art and Poetry

The poems are all love poems in the style of Shakespeare, worthy of the classic sonnet form they embrace, while the photos take their inspiration from glorious nature scenes whether that be in the form of lengthening landscapes or blooming roses.

Photographs are black & white

 

Painting is silent poetry.

~ Plutarch ~

Comments Are Appreciated!! - Happy holidays!

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    • krior76 profile image

      krior76 5 years ago

      wow such a wonderful poetry books. I wish i could make my own poetry book and illustration. thanks for sharing

    • james g pete profile image

      james g pete 6 years ago

      Happy to learn of these artistic matchings. A coffee table book brightens a room, saying oh please take a look at me. Wonderful presentation and descriptions. Like Goldilocks, not too many and not too few, but just right!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Call me old fashioned but best gift to a lady is still a poem. I remember movie Postman where poems made miracles and can testify it is true, all true, nothing but true:)

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