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Spellbound by Poetry- The Lost Words, Robert MacFarlane


I am an unashamed collector of books and it is with great excitement I share my very latest poetic acquisition, The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane. 

MacFarlane is a proud logophile (me too) and this beautifully written and illustrated book( courtesy of Jackie Morris) is a book I highly recommend to everyone out there who loves the beauty and power of language. It serves to highlight the infinite treasure existing in the natural world. treasure we can curious learners to tap into with a sense of relish and delight.

It immediately conjures up multiple possibilities for teaching poetry, growing vocabulary and celebrating the wonders of the natural world we all inhabit. 

This is a book I will eagerly share with poets of all ages. This is a book to make a word lover's heart sing!

This is a big book in every respect. It was not an inexpensive purchase, but it presented as an investment I was more than happy to make given it's rare and  beautiful contents. As soon as I became aware of it, I eagerly tracked it down. It was a compelling quest. The book lives up to all expectations I had.

MacFarlane employs acrostic poetry to celebrate a rich collection of words related to the natural world. Words that are vanishing and no longer vivid in children's voices. Words we hear less in the stories they tell. Words that disappeared so quietly hardly anyone noticed.

MacFarlane uses acrostic poetry to convey his special messages. These are acrostic poems with depth and beauty. Poems rich in imagery. MacFarlane is precise in his word use. He demonstrates the importance of pursuing the best words and then placing them in exactly the right place. 

These are acrostic poems as they should be.  Each word being celebrated is accompanied by  Jackie Morris's rich and detailed illustrations.

The author avoids calling them poems though, instead referring to them as spells. Spells for conjuring up these lost words. He summons up these lost words and brings them back into the readers mouth and mind's eye. The words and their spells are presented alphabetically.

The word fern is exulted with such effective use of alliteration:

Fern
Fern's first form is furled
Each frond fast as a fiddle head
Reach, roll and unfold follows. Fern flares.
Now fern is fully fanned.


Otter page from The Lost Words, Robert MacFarlane



Robert MacFarlane




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