Friday Favourites: The Lost Words

Looks like a book to have whatever the age.

Misha Herwin

Lost Words

This is one of the most beautiful and magical books I have seen. Working from the premise that children, in our increasingly urbanised, society are losing the words for birds and plants, Robert Macfarlane has conjured up a book of spells to find and restore the lost words.

Although he says that he is not a poet, the language is lyrical and compelling. My favourite being the song of the Willow which is both mesmerising and sinister. The writer asks,

“Willow, when the wind blows so your branches billow

O will you whisper while we listen so we learn what

Words your long leaves loosen?”

The Willow however, replies

“You will never know a word of willow for we are willow

And you are not.”

Nature may be beautiful but it has and will keep its secrets.

Illustrated on the next page, the darkness of the trees, the uneasy sky…

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