I came across a book of poetry written by Robert Macfarlane. I wasn’t able to see a preview of any of the poems online, and the illustration on the cover was the only illustration I could see. So, why did I want this book so much? Because of this line from the opening page.
Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first, almost no one noticed–fading away like water on stone.
I ordered the book from my library and when it came in, I was awestruck by both the lyrical language chosen for each poem and the masterful illustrations. I read the poems again and again. I studied them, and I enjoyed them.
Every once in a while, I come across a book that touches me so deeply that I have to own the book so I can return to its pages whenever the mood comes.
For me, this is that book.
Title – The Lost Words – A Spell Book
Author– Robert Macfarlane
Illustrator – Jackie Morris
Published by – Hamish Hamilton – 2017
Suitable for everyone of all ages.
Topics – Poetry, nature, plants, and animals
As a flake is to blizzard, as
Curve is to sphere, as knot is to net, as
One is to many, a coin is to money, as bird is to flock, as
Rock is to mountain, as drop is to fountain, as spring is to river, as glint is to glitter, as
Near is to far, as wind is to weather, as feather is to flight, as light is to star, as kindness is to good, so acorn is to wood.
Amazon Review HERE.
In 2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary ― widely used in schools around the world ― was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped. Apparently, they were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary. The list of these “lost words” included acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, and willow.
Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. The news of these substitutions ― the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual ― became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world.
Ten years later, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a “spell book” that will conjure back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories, and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature. The Lost Words is that book ― a work that has already cast its extraordinary spell on hundreds of thousands of people and begun a grass-roots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe, and North America.
Learn more about Robert Macfarlane HERE.
Learn more about Jackie Morris HERE.
Until next Friday.