The Centaur
The Centaur
The Centaur
May Swenson
Illustrated by Sherry Meidell

32 pages
Published: 2007

ISBN 978-0-87421-648-6
cloth $18.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-672-1
e-book $16.95

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May Swenson
May Swenson was born in Logan, Utah in 1913. She published eleven volumes of poetry during her lifetime, earning her dozens of awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship and membership in the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. During the last years of her life, she served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

May Swenson
Sherry Meidell lives in West Bountiful, Utah, and coincidentally spent many childhood summers near May Swenson's home. A member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, she specializes in brushes and watercolor with pencil for detail. The Centaur is the ninth book she has illustrated.

The Centaur

May Swenson

Illustrated by Sherry Meidell



Can it be there was only one
summer that I was ten?

First published in 1955, May Swenson's "The Centaur" remains one of her most popular and most anthologized poems. This is its first appearance as a picture book for children.

In images bright and brisk and nearly tangible, the poet re-creates the joy of riding a stick horse through a small-town summer. We find ourselves, with her, straddling "a long limber horse with . . . a few leaves for a tail," and pounding through the lovely dust along the path by the old canal. As her shape shifts from child to horse and back, we know exactly what she feels.

Sherry Meidell's water-color illustrations perfectly convey the wit and wisdom of May Swenson's poem. These are playful, satisfying images full of vitality and imagination. Meidell handles the joy of poem's fantasy and the joy of its occasional naughtiness with equal success.

Other books by and about May Swenson: Body My House, May Swenson, Dear Elizabeth, May Out West