I had the opportunity to read the hardback release of The Heeding by Rob Cowen with Illustrations by Nick Hayes. Today I am delighted to re-share my review of this gorgeous book for the Paperback Release.
The Heeding is a very accessible book of poetry that I really enjoyed and have since gone back to and re-read a couple of times since. There are some wonderful illustrations that accompany the poetry. My thanks to Alison at Eliot & Thompson Publishers for the copy that I read in June 2021.
The world changed in 2020. Gradually at first, then quickly and irreversibly, the patterns by which we once lived altered completely.
Across four seasons and a luminous series of poems and illustrations, Rob Cowen and Nick Hayes paint a picture of a year caught in the grip of history yet filled with revelatory perspectives close at hand. A sparrowhawk hunting in a back street; the moon over a town with a loved one’s hand held tight; butterflies massing in a high-summer yard – the everyday wonders and memories that shape a life and help us recall our own.
The Heeding leads us on a journey that takes its markers and signs from nature and a world filled with fear and pain but beauty and wonder too. Collecting birds, animals, trees and people together, it is a profound meditation to a time no one will forget.
At its heart, this is a book that helps us look again, to heed: to be attentive to this world we share, to grieve what’s lost and to hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.
What a wonderful book of poetry this was to sit and read. I do like reading poetry but sometimes I can feel lost or out of my depth. The Heeding however is a collection I could totally understand and also nod knowingly along with.
The author wrote these poems during the lockdown, this is something everyone experienced and therefore it means everyone has some similar shared experiences. I think this is what in some ways goes towards making this a relatable collection.
During the lockdown, many things happened that were not necessarily pandemic related. So getting out into the garden or an allotment, being out in nature and also experiences from the authors past.
The poetry is illustrated in such a striking way. They are blocky, eye-catching and so poignant and this makes them so very relatable. Turning a page after finishing reading a poem to discover a bold illustration that sums up the poem brilliantly. They really compliment the words.
This is a mix of poems, some happy and made me chuckle, some slower and almost story-like that took a little more thinking about and some are heartbreaking. It is a collection that I think if you were to sit and go through you would definitely find one if not several that you could relate to somehow.
I sat and read two or three poems a night over several nights. This gave me time to think about them and digest them, occasionally reading some of them twice.
A wonderfully presented book that has a great introduction, and is one that I will treasure. A book that I can keep coming back to and one that I would very definitely recommend.
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