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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Book Review: Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley

butterfly, papiliones, jonathan-bradley

Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley is a collection of poems inspired by butterflies, as well as the stories behind their often unusual and exotic names, and colour photographs. In this charming collection, the poems evoke both the colourful lives of these lovely insects and the emotions that they arouse in us. 

Each poem is unique, frequently inspired by the unusual scientific names given to them, which are often poetic in themselves. The poems lead the reader on a journey of discovery of these delicate creatures, each poem and each butterfly a new delight. 

papiliones, jonathan-bradley, book

It's been too long since I've read poetry. Although I run my semi-regular Poetry Block feature, I often find myself struggling to find time to actually get stuck into a poetry collection, which is why I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to read and review Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley.

Taken inspiration from the beauty of nature and the natural world, Papiliones is a collection of thought-inspiring poems, memorable in their simplicity. There is nothing overly complicated or pretentious about this book - the writing is heartfelt and sincere, written out of sheer love and passion above all else. It's clear just how knowledgeable Jonathan Bradley is about his chosen subject, and this research and dedication shines throughout every line of every poem in the collection.

Each poem is named after a particular butterfly, with accompanying images and a brief description of the insect at hand. This makes it an educational read as well as an enjoyable one, especially for a reader like me who is familiar with the most commonly-known butterflies but precious few besides.

butterfly, papiliones, jonathan-bradley

My personal favourite poem within the collection is one titled 'White Admiral'. Providing the perfect metaphor and drawing comparisons to the admiral who has never seen the sea, this is an engaging and thought-provoking poem. In addition, the verse flows wonderfully, creating the perfect lyricism to add to the meaning behind the words.

The final poem in the collection comes courtesy of guest poet Mick Escott. 'Wood White' is the perfect ending to the collection, bringing just the right amount of nostalgia and gravity to the light-hearted fun of earlier poems. Escott reflects on how the actions of humans have contributed to the decline of rare butterflies; the point made is sad but true - nature is no longer a priority in today's fast-paced city world.

Our natural environment is constantly changing and biodiversity falls increasingly under threat from the trappings of the modern, materialistic lifestyle. Sometimes it's nice to just go back to a simpler time and enjoy the basic things in life - nature is free to enjoy and accessible to everyone; perhaps it's time we went out and took advantage of it? Papiliones is the perfect read to remind us why it's so important to look after our country's wonderful natural plants, wildlife and ecosystems.

Rating: 3 stars

Papiliones is available to buy now.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Are you a poetry fan? Which butterfly is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

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