4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Even as I write this with COVID-19 totally dominating the news, climate change is still one of our biggest challenges that we are facing as a planet and as a human race. There have been many books written on the science of what is happening, and the possible effects of what our planet could be like with a temperature rise of 4 degrees. There are fictional responses too, Stillicide by Cynan Jones and Doggerland by Ben Smith are two books set in a future UK that has suffered from the effects of climate change.

 

The barren shelves wait

For just in time deliveries to cities

Where no one can eat barcodes

 

But there aren’t many poetry books about this crisis, so when I was offered a copy of this to read, I jumped at the chance. This collection by Sam Love is split into four themed sections, Awakening, Origins, Impact and Recovering Hope. The emphasis for each section is fairly clear and the poems open up things that are important to him, such as the way the atmosphere traps the heat from the sun, the imagery of a Plastic bag as tumbleweed before joining the other detritus of our legacy is very poignant, the joy of picking fruit from a bush in your garden rather than a punnet that has travelled a quarter of the way around the world. The view that a forest is a sustainable resource for local people and not just a one-off source of profit for an outsider.

 

The butterfly’s bright wings offer a glimpse

That tomorrow the sunrise will paint the landscape

 

What comes across most in the short collection is the fury that he has about the way that we have reached the situation that we are in. The final section gives us a little hope that this is merely a transitory phase and that there will be some positives on the other side of this crisis.

 

Three (ish) Favourite Poems

Our Legacy

Crazy Water

Ghost Stumps

Awakenings

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