Book Review: Poems from a Green and Blue Planet

Sundays are for Reading - Poems from a Green & Blue Planet edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

Featuring over 200 poems, this illustrated hardcover collection shines a light on poetry from around the world. Poetry explores the human capacity for emotion and feeling in a way more immediate than prose, and Poems from a Green & Blue Planet celebrates a range of poets who take joy in writing about the Earth.

Sabrina Mahfouz’s choice of poems in this comprehensive collection run a diverse gamut from all over the globe. In addition to better known nature poets such as William Wordsworth and Matsuo Bashō, the collection includes selections from Omar Khayyam, Oodgeroo Noonunccal, Traditional Yoruba verse, and a whole host more. In sheer numbers, this collection is a treasure trove of poems to celebrate our planet. For reference, indexes of poets by surname and poems by opening line are located at the end of the book.

Aaron Cushley’s black and white illustrations divide the book’s poems by topic, marking the start of each section with a full page illustration. Smaller spot illustrations dot the margins of every page, functioning as progress markers. In the Wind Blows section, a dandelion sheds seeds in an invisible breeze filling page margins with drifting seeds. Similarly, a full moon wanes into a new moon in the Moon Rises section. Not only do these encourage readers to keep reading, but they mimic the natural cycles of the Earth in keeping with the poetic theme.

An excellent gift, reference book, or simply an inspiring trove of poetry to curl up with when the urge to appreciate Planet Earth strikes, Poems from a Green & Blue Planet is a great book for readers aged 9 and up, especially anyone looking to raise their consciousness of why nature matters in the words of some of our very best poets.


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