Thursday, 10 November 2016

Review ~ Winter edited by Melissa Harrison

Elliot & Thompson

The cool blue of the cover conjures ice and frost and a feeling of winter pervades in the choice of prose and poetry contained within its pages.

There can be nothing more comforting on a cold wintry day than snuggling up with a cup of steaming hot chocolate and a really good book. On a recent, and rather grey, afternoon that's just what I did, and I very quickly found myself immersed in this lovely book. 

There are beautiful reflective pieces, my particular favourite comes from November (Sonnet XVI) by Hartley Coleridge, (1833) who was the son of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge..

 " ..In the chill sunbeam of the faint brief day
The dusky waters shudder as they shine,
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define..."

Poets and authors, old and new, with works spanning over seven hundred years allows this Winter anthology to graciously unfold in sharply observed pieces which nestle comfortably alongside details of natural phenomena, as in this snippet from Thomas Furly Forsters, Encyclopedia of Natural Phenomena (1827) 

.." If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight..."

I had to look up Candlemas Day, it's on February 2nd

There are many more fascinating snippets which allow a glimpse into our British countryside during this stark season, and yet the content of the book is never austere, it is alive and vibrant, both in the imagery it evokes and in the feelings it arouses. Without doubt Winter, that most enigmatic of seasons, comes gloriously alive in this lovely anthology.

The editor, Melissa Harrison has done a commendable job of keeping this quartet of anthologies completely relevant, with each seasonal interpretation allowing a heartening and thoughtful meditation into the true meaning of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Published in support of The Wildlife Trusts who look after some 2,300 special places in the UK

More about the editor, Melissa Harrison can be found on her website by clicking here

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My thanks to Alison at Elliot & Thompson for my review copy of  Winter.


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