STARRED REVIEW
June 2007

If: A Father’s Advice to His Son

Charles R. Smith Jr.

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If: A Father's Advice to His Son is the poem that fathers and son seem to share more than any other. No namby-pamby, overly sweet stuff from Rudyard Kipling! Charles R. Smith Jr., a respected poet himself, has taken Kipling's familiar poem to new heights in this edition by adding his own boy-friendly, sports photographs. Smith's stark, dramatic photographs complement each line of the poem, from the soccer player heading the ball in the opening line, "If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you," to the almost spiritual shadow of a man and his son at the end. It's interesting that Smith chooses to photograph each athlete from the smallest Little Leaguer to the mature high school runner from the back, making each figure into an Everyman. If is a sentimental favorite, expertly repackaged here for today's fathers and sons.

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If: A Father’s Advice to His Son

If: A Father’s Advice to His Son

By Charles R. Smith Jr.
Price $14.99
ISBN 9780689877995

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