Zaro Weil, illustrated by Junli Song
I was over the moon (cherry and otherwise) to receive a copy of Zaro Weil’s latest poetry book. It’s subtitled ‘Little Poems Big Ideas Mindful of Nature’.
Little in length, some might be, but little in impact? – definitely not; not even the very shortest haikus.
It’s nigh on impossible to choose favourites from the round about 100 offerings so I’ll start with one – Story Time Orchestra – that in essence for me sums up this entire collection:
‘a story time orchestra / lives inside my book / and when I open / to my favourite part // everyone starts to play’.
Play is what Zaro does in her writing –she plays with ideas, plays with words, plays with language and plays with nature itself, painting wonderful word pictures in the mind. Try reading the tongue twisting ‘Preposterous penguins’, an elaborate alliterative poem that beings thus: ’thousands / of preposterously pensive penguins / pause to participate / in a particularly polar poetry pageant’.
Many poems are interpreted through Junli Song’s stylish, almost stylised illustrations.
Unsurprisingly the elements feature in a fair few of the poems: I’ll never walk again along the muddy cycle track behind my home in the rain without thinking of ‘Mudpuddling Tonight’ that portrays so perfectly the experience of welly walking near Stroud on a rainy evening; and it will certainly help lift the spirits:
‘mudpuddling tonight / sloshgurgling / all the way home through / a well-shined slipstream of / a million and one raindrops / lit by / a million and one moondots’.
This is assuredly a terrific collection and one to encourage readers, young and not so young, to open wide their eyes and sharpen all their senses to the wonderful world of nature waiting to be discovered in the great outdoors from early morning to late at night and all through the seasons.
Enchantment through and through.