Book Review: A Year of Nature Poems


A Year of Nature Poems
By: Joseph Coelho
Reviewed by: Greg Romaneck

The power of nature to inspire is a pronounced reality that typifies the work of a wide range of artists. One need only think of the poetry of Robert Frost, Thoreau’s essays, or the beauty of Van Gogh’s paintings to realize the inspirational capacity that exists in the natural world that surrounds each of us. In A Year of Nature Poems, Joseph Coelho takes his readers through a year of seasons via a poem a month. Each poem is both personal and universal in terms of its scope. A simple memory of bringing frogs home from a ramble to watch them grow in a household aquarium stands in contrast to the bitter realities of global pollution that threatens that very creature. Likewise, standing outside in a virginal snowfall, amazed by the hushed beauty of the landscape, offers the writer inspiration and a realization that what the snow covers includes not only the terrain but our lives as well. Coelho writes in a lyrical way while simultaneously offering both poetic relief and environmental lessons that strike home. These nature poems are amplified by the beautiful color illustrations produced by Kelly Louise Judd. Readers are advised to finish each poem and then take some time studying the illustrations. The visual simplicity should be savored as there are lessons in each image that can be quite moving. Readers with any interest in poems drawn from naturalistic experiences will savor this work and return to it time and again.
Children’s Literature is a division of CLCD, LLC.

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