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I Hear the World Sing (Sento cantare il mondo)

Italian and American Children Joined in Poetry (Bambini italiani e americani uniti in poesia)

David Hassler Jessica Jewell Stephanie Siciarz

96 pages
The Kent State University Press

Shared joys and concerns across cultures and language, expressed in the poetry of children

When school children from Kent, Ohio and Florence, Italy, were invited to express their thoughts about “Where I’m From” in poetry, the connections that emerged between these students from different continents were remarkable. Their responses to this prompt—“lo vengo da” in Italian—demonstrate the underlying importance of home, families, the natural world, and the creative identities that children harbor within them.

The 40 poems in I Hear the World Sing, printed in both English and Italian, presents these poems in three sections—“The Chirp of Little Birds,” “Witness the River,” and “I Write to Grow a World"—which explore and celebrate the commonalities between us. Anyone can be a poet, no matter the language one speaks or writes. And by presenting each poem in two languages, this collection emphasizes how successfully poetry transcends both physical and linguistic boundaries, no matter the age of the poet.

Originally composed in workshops facilitated by the Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas project and translated by students in Kent State University’s Italian translation program, I Hear the World Sing is an invitation for students of poetry, of Italian, and readers of any age to reflect on language and how it shapes our lives.

Author Bio

David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center, is the author of Red Kimono, Yellow Barn, for which he was awarded Ohio Poet of the Year 2006. His nonfiction work includes the play, May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970, and (with photographer Gary Harwood) Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community.

Jessica Jewell is senior academic program director at the Wick Poetry Center. Her academic writing has appeared in the Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. Her poetry has appeared in Cider Press Review, American Poetry Journal, and Nimro, among others, and her chapbook, Slap Leather, was published by dancing girl press.

Stephanie Siciarz is an author and translator. She serves as the Italian Program Coordinator in the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies at Kent State University.