Tuesday 6 August 2019

Review ~Ten Poems of Happiness from Candlestick Press

Jaffareadstoo is happy to share this latest poetry pamphlet from
Candlestick Press

Candlestick Press
July 2019

My thanks to the publishers for this poetry pamphlet

Happiness: the mid-point, perhaps, between contentment and joy. We all hope for it, but we all also have times when it seems far away. Sometimes, we even fail to notice when it’s there.

These poems don’t celebrate rapture or feverish delight. Mostly they capture moments of what Emily Dickinson calls “casual simplicity” – giggling irreverently during a yoga class or seeing a dragonfly land on a lake. Happiness, they seem to say, is far less complicated than we sometimes imagine:

“It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.”

from ‘Happiness’ by Jane Kenyon

Deborah Alma is a poet and poetry tutor, also known as the Emergency Poet offering the world’s first mobile poetry first aid service. Her delightful and thoughtful selection is sure to lift the spirits and gladden the heart.

Poems by Deborah Alma, Meg Cox, Emily Dickinson, Jonathan Davidson, Tony Hoagland, Jane Kenyon, Bryony Littlefair, Naomi Shihab Nye, RS Thomas and James Wright.

Cover illustration by Victoria McGrane. 

What did I think about it..

Even though I've never been successful in growing one to a reasonable height, sunflowers never fail to make me smile. I remember, one summer in northern France, the sheer unadulterated joy of seeing a field, swathed, as far as the eye could see, in a mass of yellow sunflowers. Looking at this marvellous cover, I am reminded of the simple joy of watching nature in all its glory and of the happiness to be found in 'casual simplicity'.

This selection of Ten Poems of Happiness bring their own special brand of joy and the poems especially chosen by Deborah Alma reminds us that the feeling of happiness is something we should cherish. We can find small moments of happiness in our everyday life, we don't need to go looking for it as, in many ways, happiness finds us, sometimes in the most unexpected way, as in the discovery of " a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather" from Field Guide by Tony Hoagland or of observing a beloved son " help himself to a bowl of breakfast cereal" from A Short Piece of Choral Music by Jonathan Davidson.

I found this latest section of poems to be quite introspective, each of the ten bring something different to the table but all of them struck a chord of recognition and reminded me of some very special times when happiness overflowed, or when I was, quite simply, reminded to count my blessings and cherish what I had within my grasp.

It's always difficult to chose a favourite as each of the poems are quite special in their own way but I have to say that Deborah Alma's Silence made me reminisce about a similar stop on a quiet mountain pass in Scotland, with a stunning Loch glistening in the sunshine, "and there it was something beautiful, something I had been chasing all my life" ♡

Ten Poems of Happiness made me smile, they made me stop and consider everything I have which makes me happy, and ultimately, in a very special week, with the safe arrival of a very precious granddaughter, the poems made me realise that happiness is always there in those cherished moments that live in our hearts forever.

This latest poetry pamphlet is out now and is a perfect gift to make someone you know feel happy ๐Ÿ˜Š

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Clouds, Walking, Birds, Home and Kindness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

Connect: www.candlestickpress.co.uk

Twitter @PoetryCandle

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