The subtitle of Alex Wharton’s first collection of poetry suggests that these are poems to read aloud. But if you thought that this means they might be loud and insistent, you would be wrong. In fact, it is the quietest poems that I find most impressive, poems that have a dreamy, bated breath quality. The poet seems to spend much of his time in quiet contemplation, perhaps waiting for the leaves of a weeping willow to touch the grass or listening to the silence of clocks in the night. And I love the poem ‘Quiet Things’, which describes the placid concentration with which a particular child goes about enjoying her life, just perfectly. This kind of quietness that never reaches for obvious poetic effect is worth listening to. Mystery is never far away, sometimes in the familiar big poetic subjects like ‘The Sea’ or the moon of a ‘Midnight Wish’, but equally in the ambivalent feelings of an old football, worn out and missing free kicks and penalties. And sometimes the mystery can break out in a kind of craziness. What about the ‘Bubble Man’? ‘He is quiet on his feet, /like a fox, and he only/ever wears purple clothing. / “Bubbles react better to purple”,/ he says.’ These poems are expertly pitched for junior children and ably supported by sympathetic illustrations from Katy Riddell.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2022-01-20 08:00:322022-01-20 08:00:49Daydreams and Jellybeans. Poems to Read Aloud
Illustrator: Katy Riddell