I am the Seed That Grew the Tree

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I am the seed that grew the tree

that gave the wood to make the page

to fill the book with poetry.

Judith Nicholls

‘I am the Seed that Grew the Tree’ is a beautiful collection of nature inspired poems. With 365 poems, there’s one for every day of the year, January through to December. January brings the snow; February the thaw; March brings signs of Spring. There are poems about the weather, animals, insects and birds. April poems tell of creatures; May of the flowers and in June, the bees and butterflies appear. Each month reflects the sights and sounds of nature. In July, there are poems about dragonflies, rivers and waterfalls; in August, we head to the seaside and in September, poems reflect seeds and swallows as Summer ends. Finally, as we finish the year, October sees the changing of the leave as Autumn arrives; November poems talk of fog, wind and rain and in December, there is holly and ivy.

This nature filled anthology is an absolute joy. It could be enjoyed quickly and read cover to cover in one long sitting or slowly over the course of the year. Readers are naturally encouraged to think about each poem and reflect on whether they have experienced those particular seasonal sights and sounds. I chose to dip into the collection at first, selecting poems from birthdays and special occasions and later sat and read it cover to cover over a period of days. Each verse brought a smile to my face and a memory to my mind. It was a joy to read.

When Nosy Crow publisher, Kate Wilson, decided to make this book, she wanted to create something that was beautiful and easy to find your way into, “A book that helped you to pause and see the natural world around you.” I personally think that has been done, very successfully. There is a contents page for each month at the beginning of the month, which makes poems easy to find, and an index of poems by title and first lines at the back. The collection features poems from many well loved poets; to mention just a few- William Blake, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Berlie Doherty, John Foster, Thomas Hardy, Ted Hughes, Walter de la Mare, Roger Stevens, Robert Louis Stevenson and Zaro Weil.

The anthology was compiled by Fiona Waters and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon. When the book has been read in its entirety, it is obvious that each poem has been carefully selected, by Fiona, and cleverly grouped into its perfect position in the month. Frann’s stunning illustrations are found on every page. There is also wonderful simplicity to each illustration; it is clear that colours have been chosen carefully. The pictures don’t overwhelm the poems but allow readers to reflect on the beauty of nature and the thought-provoking words of each poem.

With poetry becoming more of a focus on the primary school curriculum, this book is a must for every classroom. With the suggestion that teachers should try to read a poem a day to their class, I can think of no better collection of beautiful, relevant and appropriate poems to share. There are poems to perform, share, play with, enjoy and use as inspiration to be creative.

I am the Seed  Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

Nosy Crow with support from the National Trust ISBN: 9870857637703