The Green Book of Poetry
The Green Book of Poetry
Ivo Mosley (editor)
210 x 148mm, 352pp,
The earth’s riches are plundered and turned to garbage and the bright visions of our ancestors become dust in our hands. The human race needs wisdom and the search could only lead to the poetry of the world. In 324 poems from 33 languages over 45 centuries, men and women sing the song of life. Auden, Akhmatova, Blake, Bukowski, Celan, Goethe, Leopardi, Holub, Ma’arri, Li-Po, Kennelly, Rukeyser, Srinivasa, Takubuko, Wordsworth - an entire chapter is devoted to the efforts and sacrifices poets have made to give voice to their passions and beliefs, asserting the importance of poetry. People love this book, ordinary people and those who don’t read poetry, professors,students, even cynics, listening to the different voices of the poets. They have much to say about civilisation, war and religion,about the destruction of nature and what it means to us; it’s a torrent of images and ideas and a source of inspiration for the future. Ageless, yet timely and increasingly relevant, The Green Book of Poetry is our bestseller.
This is a book for us all: for the scabrous traveller in her fume filled wagon, for the mercantile, intellectual and artisanical, for the potbellied and skeletal alike.
Any anthology that gives its readers even 2 or 3 discoveries is worth having. Here in this rich collection - well over 300 items- there are almost as many finds as familiars. Don’t let the title make you hesitate. It’s a book, anyhow, to possess.
Ivo Mosley has produced a book for our time - sometimes too keen to ‘green’ every issue, but full of the poetry of survival.
Poetry is the guardian of our integrity according to the editor and this belief is expressed through the wonderful and surprising poems he has chosen from all around the world.The poets may not all be familiar but their work is both inspiring and beautiful - a rare find.
The compiler has an extraordinary knowledge, both of languages and poetry world-wide. He has put together poems of 30 cultures, some of them fierce, many of them wise, and adding up, by way of the commentary to a more positive reflection on humanity’s worth than our species probably deserves.
Turning the pages makes you realise the sheer necessity and long overdue arrival of this book.
The book is an indictment of the dispoliation of our planet and a celebration of those who hymn it, and is entirely fascinating.
-There are many more cheerful, older and brighter poems than this, but here’s an extract from ‘Lament for Passenger Pigeons’ written by the 20th century Australian poet, Judith Wright:
And it is man we eat and man we drink
and man who thickens round us like a stain.
Ice at the polar cap smells of men.
A word, a class, a formula, a use:
that is the rhythm, the cycle we impose.
The sirens sang to us to the ends of the sea,
and changed to us; their voices were our own,
jug-jug to dirty ears in dirtied brine.
Pigeons and angels sang us to the sky
and turned to metal and a dirty need.
The height of sky, the depths of sea we are,
sick with a yellow stain, a fouling dye.
Whatever Being is, that formula,
it dies as we pursue it past the word.
We have not asked the meaning but the use.
What is the use of water when it dims?
The use of air that whines in emptiness?
The use of glass-eyed pigeons caged in glass?
-Or the translated words of the Syrian poet, Al Ma’arri, 937-1057
We laughed; our laughing betrayed scorn.
People on this earth should live in fear.
When man shakes hands with Time, Time crushes
Them like tumblers; little pieces of glass.
Rights in compilation: © Ivo Mosley / Frontier Publishing