Poems from a Green & Blue Planet


The elements and seasons and wonder of Earth are celebrated and reflected upon in Poems from a Green & Blue Planet. Poet Sabrina Mahfouz has selected a vast and magnificent range of poems from translated works to proverbs, epigrams, lyrics, narrative and descriptive verse. Poets range from the classicists to newer voices like those of Dean Atta or Kate Tempest. Every piece is perfect and demands reading, consideration and revisiting.

The book is arranged into seven sections, with works arranged into themes of sun, win, water, fire, life, ice and moon. A traditional work, within the fire theme has resonance to the 2020 Australian bush fires:- ‘Enjoy the earth gently/ Enjoy the earth gently/ For if the earth is spoiled/ It cannot be repaired/ Enjoy the earth gently’

Beautiful lines linger, such as within Simon Mole’s ‘With One Breath (Just One Breath)- ‘- down where the stretching fingers of the sun can’t reach‘. I was reminded of my home land in Raymond Antrobus’s ‘With Birds You’re Never Lonely’- ‘- on a stump, deep in Zelandia forest/ with sun-syrupped Kauri trees/ and brazen Tui birds with white tufts/ and yellow and black beaks’.

Then there are Winnebago proverbs, works from Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson,  Omar Khayyam.

What a jewel of a book. Poems from a Green & Blue Planet deserves a place on bookshelves in homes and schools, to be gifted, shared and loved. This is a beautiful selection, a literary virtual reality view of our planet.

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Poems from a Green & Blue Planet

Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, illustrated by Aaron Cushley

(Hodder Children’s)- hardback

Poems from a Green & Blue Planet is a magnificent collection of poetry. Poet Sabrina Mahfouz has selected a rich variety of work and organised them into themes:- ‘Wind Blow’; ‘Water Flows’; ‘Fire Leaps’; ‘Life Grows’; ‘Ice Chills’; ‘Moon Rises’.
Each category includes a glorious selection. We open Sun Shines with the David Ride Mitchell offering ‘when a blackbird sings’ from a high perch/ And announces dawn’. Susan Coolidge urges us to ‘Take heart with the new day and begin again‘. There is an extract from Omar Khayyam’s ‘The Rubaiyat’ and works from Emily Dickinson, A.E. Houseman and Harold Morro. I love Derek Mahon’s ‘Everything is Going to Be All Right’, with the line ‘watching the day break and the clouds flying….’
This title reminds me of classic Bloodaxe poetry works, with the class, maturity and depth of poetry books such as The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog or Chris Riddell’s Poems to Live Your Life By.
Poems from a Green & Blue Planet is a proud, mighty, meaningful book that we recommend for home, school and gifting.


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