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Jubilation Wood by Juliet Johns

A friend sent a stunning little book to me shortly after Christmas and a day or so later I heard from Ronnie at Indigo Dreams who mentioned it too, so I thought I’d share the details in case you’d like to scoop a copy up for yourself. Take a look on their website as there is a great deal for 2015.

JWThe poems in Jubilation Wood are linked to a theme of Nature with an underlying theme of the power of Nature as a fundamental life source—hints of the mythology of the older land. They are accessible without being trite or clichéd. They address the Universal rather than the personal viewpoint. The appeal is widened by the addition of beautiful linked illustrations by professional artist Eva Prus.

Juliet Johns is a poet whose work is inspired by the ancient land of Cornwall which is her heritage. Her writing is infused with the seas, woods and carns of her native land. She was educated in Cornwall, New York and London, and has since returned to Cornwall where she now lives, close to the sea and overlooking a vista of hills, woods and fields.

Nightwooowld

My lady the moon, spun of mist,
hangs in each branch
following me soundlessly
the owl is my bleak companion—
I am not fearful of the night
which creeps around me like another soul
entreating comfort
I tread dead apples underfoot
echo of fox is in the air
and the night mouse in his silent place

I would be part of this world
more often

‘Trees are a famous subject for poetry, from the Chinese Wang River sequence onward down the centuries to A. E. Houseman and beyond, but I have never before read a collection which captures the changing moods of a wood so perfectly. It reflects, poem by poem, the varying aspects of season, species, hour of night and day, and state of weather. This is real dryad verse, part embodying the experience of the human confronting the woodland, and part that of trees confronting the human. It succeeds. with what is to me a unique skill, in conveying that essential sense of the forest as at once something familiar and alien, colourful and shadowy, beautiful and frightening, belonging to us and barely tolerating us, understood and mysterious…’. Ronald Hutton, Historian, author.

‘Some people are deeply woven into a sense of countryside, and Juliet is one of these … “I would be part of this world more often” she says, as her fresh poetic voice leads us through the cycles of the year and the joy (and sometimes pain) of inevitable and continuing renewal. Lovely, sensuous poems, a joy to read and re-read.’ Caroline Carver, poet.

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3 thoughts on “Jubilation Wood by Juliet Johns”

  1. So pleased to see this here – it’s a beautiful, unique book and it’s so good to see an illustrated poetry collection as they are very rare these days. The words and pictures complement each other brilliantly. Definitely one I would recommend.

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