Animal Poetry; Green Poetry; Sea Poetry; Christmas Poetry
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Four out of a set of eight books (the other themes are Day and Night, Science, Houses and Homes, and Food) containing some refreshingly original selections, including a light scatter of poems by children. Many expected guests are conspicuously absent, and in their places stand worthy alternatives. In Sea Poetry, for example, Shakespeare is represented not by 'Full fathom five' but by the equally haunting vision of jewelled seabed bones from Richard III.
Animal Poetry contains poignant contributions from Clare, Hughes and Sandburg, alongside more cheery stuff from Michael Flanders and John Agard. Christmas Poetry presents a similar mix of the meditative and the light-hearted, while Green Poetry is composed almost entirely of despondent reflections and forebodings.
All the books are magnificently illustrated with full colour photographs, including some startling material from Oxford Scientific Films. Annabel Spencely's black-and-white marginalia provide an attractive contrast.