Visual Verse: Art in Nature with Symbiotic Verse
Synergy, 2006 (2006)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
n the back cover of this remarkable coffee table book we're told that
marries the splendor of the natural world with the glory of the written word.
' Inside, spectacular landscape photographs are paired with poems - six of the author's plus nineteen by well known poets from William Shakespeare and Robert Service to the 11th century Tibetan Milarepa. These are followed by a lovely collection of nature photography, after which the author gives a fascinating and thoughtful commentary on the making of the images he paired with poetry.
, accompanied by photos of russet leaves reflected in all their glory on a lake. I also liked his
and the picture of a series of very different - in color, size and texture - pebbles on a beach. Service's
Heart o' the North
is touching and the wilderness picture that goes with it gives me itchy feet. I'd never read Corinne Roosevelt Robinson's
The Path That Led to Nowhere
before and was very glad of the opportunity to savor it now, along with an enticing image of a Fall forest pathway. The five pictures that accompany the hymn
For the Beauty of the Earth
at the end of the book are simply inspirational.
've always liked the notion of verse/image combinations, which I first encountered in old Chinese scroll paintings. The pairings in
are well chosen to stimulate and reinforce each other's imagery (as a minor caveat, I would have appreciated a more detailed indication of locations for all the photos). Sergeant Joyce Kilmer's lines in
(quoted in the book) perhaps sums up the whole collection best: '
Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.
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