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Friday, February 5, 2016

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, edited by J. Patrick Lewis. National Geographic, Random House. 2015. 28.99 all ages

"How could
one slight
just a tiny bit
of a crack
in the cover
of clouds,
such a pouring of sun
that engulfs

This poem by Constance Levy is only one of the more than 200 that J. Patrick Lewis, anthologist extraordinaire, has included in his companion book to 2012's National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry.

The poems are penned by past and present writers who celebrate the natural world in carefully chosen words and scenes meant to inspire readers with wonder. Accompanied by astonishing photographs that celebrate the beauty of this natural world, this new collection should always be within sight of children and adults so that they might daily enjoy the splendor of the combination of word and image.

It is a testament to the inspiration that sends writers looking for pen and paper. Lucky we are to share in the joy and wonder they feel when presented with nature's beauty!

"When It Is

When it is snowing
the blue jay
is the only piece of
in my

- Siv Cedering"

"Sun Dogs

The sun made a special appearance
on his balcony, above the crowd,
surrounded by a halo
of diamond dust and clouds.

On either side of him there stood
two sun dogs, north and south,
keeping almost silent guard,
growls slipping from their mouths.

When the sun excused his audience
and disappeared in the dark,

he dismissed the sun dogs,
one and two, to guard the city parks.

                             - Janet Wong"


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

                          - W. H. Davies"


Now, get out there with pen, paper, camera, paints, pencils ... whatever sparks creativity for you and find something to ache to represent such beauty. Surprise yourself!

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