Tag Archive for: poetry

 

“Wain’s poetry collection is full of sharply-crafted insights into the world we have, and the ways we might open our doors to something different that we’d be proud to leave to the generations that come after us – which is the living definition of Thrutopian writing.

We build the worlds we want to see, and we imagine them into being. And then there are ley lines stretching out across the terrain of the collective unconscious and others can walk them, and others and others. Until the day they feel like the way everyone has always walked.” – Manda Scott

 

The story is exactly what it sounds like: a modern retelling of the Coleridge poem. Told by a grizzled old codger to a young screen-eyed stranger in a park, Hayes takes the original eco-fable and updates it, weaving in plastic pollution and the dehumanisation of humanity when disconnected from the natural world. There are vengeful apparitions, oil slicks and raging tsunamis, not to mention the endlessly mounting corpses of the creatures of the ocean.

Hayes’s poetry is lyrical and energetic, alternately summoning laughter, tears, and moments of reflection. But the real magic at play here is the artwork. Reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts, there’s a simplicity to his highly-detailed lines that allows breathing space while demanding fervent attention.

Of course, you won’t be surprised to learn that nobody listens to our modern mariner. His tale is disregarded as the ravings of a mad hobo, and he is left alone on a park bench, listening to the wind and wondering at the strangeness of humanity. – Philip Webb Gregg

 

Robert Frost’s classic poem receives a child-like twist through charming illustrations by Susan Jeffers. This picture book, which has been in print since 1978, is beloved by generations of children for its evocations of New England winters and a man with “promises to keep.” It’s a beautifully illustrated tale about human interconnectedness with nature, even in the depths of winter.

Suitable for Children Age 4-12

Responding to a call from poet Rip Bulkeley’s call, sixty-three poets contributed to the anthology Rebel Talk. As Philip Gross’s Foreword explains, the poems “…seek to show what, uniquely, these times are, and why it is once again so urgent that creative artists respond to the challenges they pose, in particular to the climate emergency.

Each poem is an individual response to this challenge: as a collection, they possess a wealth of language and imagery, by turns hard, laconic, diamond sharp, down-to-earth, tender, urgently lyrical. What are these times? Almost – not quite – too late.”

Rebel Talk is divided into six chapters, exploring themes and emotions which draw together responses to the climate emergency. The opening chapter, ‘Earth’, rejoices and grounds itself in nature’s diversity and cosmic unity. Here is a vision of a natural world which we can recognise and respect, in which we can flourish and thrive because we know what we must do to make sure we don’t damage it.

This collection of nature poems makes a perfect gift for the teen with a poetic sensibility. Twelve poems honour the natural world through each of the seasons —beautifully— illustrated, gifting readers a lyrical glance on the Earth’s many treasures.

Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for Young Adults here

 

‘These eels were born in a continent of ocean
and their parents carried into that vastness
on mindless, reliable, pot-luck currents
from Iceland, Belgium, Tunisia, Spain.’

The European Eel is a long poem that imagines the life cycle, ecological contexts and ​enigma of the charismatic and critically endangered fish of the poem’s title. Based on Ely’s in-depth engagement with the scientific literature, discussions with leading eel researchers and conservationists, and hands-on experience with the eel in river systems across the country and abroad, ​The European Eel is unique not only in its sustained birth-to-death focus on the eel, but in the vivid way the eel’s riverine and marine habitats are evoked and articulated—and in its portrayal of the daunting array of anthropogenic threats that are currently threatening this once common species with extinction. Although a poem first and foremost—an Expressionistic epic monology that transforms its natural history into a quasi-gnostic affirmation of the persistence of life in the context of the Anthropocene and the Sixth Extinction—the poem’s rootedness in research enables it to transcend its status as art to function as a credible piece of informed nature writing capable of shaping ecological debate. Seventeen pages of illustrations by the award-winning artist P.R. Ruby complement and interpret the text, and detailed notes provide context that further opens up the astonishing world of the European eel.

‘Steve’s research of the eel’s complex life history is reflected in this incredible long-form poem – anything shorter would not have done this fish justice.’  ~ Dr Matthew Gollock, Marine and Freshwater Senior Programme Manager, Zoological Society of London.

Source: London Review of Books

Much With Body is the startlingly original second collection by poet Polly Atkin. The beauty of the Lake District is both balm and mirror, refracting pain and also soothing it with distraction: unusual descriptions of frogs, birds, a great stag that ‘you will not see’. Much of the landscape is lakescape, giving the book a watery feel, the author’s wild swimming being just one kind of immersion. There is also a distinct link with the past in a central section of found poems taken from transcripts of the journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, from a period late in her life when she was often ill. In common with the works of the Wordsworths, these poems share a quality of the metaphysical sublime. Their reverence for the natural world is an uneasy awe, contingent upon knowledge of our fragility and mortality.

Dom Bury’s Rite of Passage is an initiation into what it means to be alive on the planet in the midst of extinction, of climate, environmental and systematic collapse. It is a journey into the shadow of man’s distorted relationship with the earth. And yet in the utter darkness of this hour, these often provocative poems suggest that there is hope. That we have had to come to the edge of our own annihilation as a species to collectively shift how we live, that only in the dark glare of this crisis, can a new world from the ashes of the old one now be formed.

The poems of Inmates stage encounters with insects at sites and moments of their refuge, torpor, hatching or fighting, of traversing a floor in the night or climbing a wall, of their death and decay – all in and around the house of the writer, with whom they are sharing time, as fellow inmates.

There is an urgency to these poems, emerging from the instant of their writing, and the close attention Borodale brings to his observation of the natural world results in poems of real intensity. Inmates is an attempt to co-exist with the natural world – examining it, intimately, at the edge of language itself, where the human voice begins to break apart.

This edition gathers together Barbara Kingsolver’s vibrant and various poems, revealing an intimate side to her creative practice as yet unseen. Almost resembling a Collected or Selected Poems, the book is divided into thematically linked sections: a series of ‘How to’ poems that smartly balance tongue-in-cheek guides with revelatory wisdom; a complicated family pilgrimage to Italy; cherished childhood memories; the perils and pleasures of being a [female] writer; elegies to lost loved ones; and elegies to the planet. Sharing the natural fluidity and compassionate humanity of her prose, How to Fly will both delight Kingsolver’s devoted readership and welcome a host of new readers to her luminous poetry.