I recently read a wonderful book titled ‘Papiliones’. It is a poetry book written by Jonathan Bradley.
Jonathan is a butterfly enthusiast and has been writing poetry since the age of fourteen. His enthusiasm led him to write this beautiful book. “He has a strong commitment to conserving butterflies and their environments.” The book consists of 33 poems written by Bradley himself and one guest poem contributed by Mick Escott.
The book starts off with a brief history of how butterflies and poetry have had a long-standing connection, dating all the way back to ancient Grecian times. It also touches on how Bradley was first introduced to butterflies.
The book is essentially an ode to many species of butterfly which are native to the British Isles. I found this book to be thoroughly informative.
The layout is pleasing to the eye and it is something I loved about the book. Firstly, it informs you of a particular butterfly’s common and scientific name along with information on that species, such as its origin and rarity. This is followed by an image of the featured insect and then finally its own dedicated poem.
The poems vary in style and I had great pleasure in reading them. You can tell that the man behind the words has a genuine passion for what he writes about and that is truly inspiring.
I found myself particularly drawn to one poem about the Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus Coridon) butterfly. It reads as follows:
Under the midnight moon,
cold and cruel,
you held me through my winter night
as I mourned an impossible life,
until the cracked window steamed
right across from side to side.
Now we lie and linger
on the blue-green downs
stretching on the horseshoe vetch;
the skylarks sing,
church bells ring
and all around us
Chalkhill Blues abounding
my mind at rest, at one with yours,
your fingers and mine entwined.
The poem flows beautifully and brought a sense of calm to me when I found myself reading and re-reading the piece.
It is funny how you can look at something your whole life and think nothing of it. In times past, if ever I saw a butterfly, I would just think to myself “ooh pretty” and not much else. They are a beauty to observe. After reading this book, I feel more educated and can appreciate the winged beauties a lot more. I for one did not realise the vast amount of species there are.
If you would like to purchase this collection of butterfly poetry for yourself, it is available as a hardcover book here. I think it is important to mention that all of the profit from the sales of this book are donated to the Butterfly Conservation Charity.
The Butterfly Conservation have helped raise awareness of the drastic decline in butterflies and moths. Through their conservation work they have begun to reverse the decline of several of the most threatened species. The donations go into preservation, recording and monitoring and much more.
If you want to know more about why butterflies are important, you can read all about it here.
Jonathan’s book is an amazing contribution to the world of poetry and the intent behind the book is definitely noteworthy. With that being said, the book itself is cleverly constructed and a joy to read. Definitely worth checking out!
Until next time, stay inspired.