The Book of the Green Man | Ronald Johnson

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The Book of the Green Man is a long poem by Ronald Johnson. An American, Johnson, on an extended visit to the British Isles in the early '60s, penned the poem in an attempt to "make new the traditional British long seasonal poem".

 

The poem (published originally in 1967) follows our solar year, beginning in winter and ending in autumn, and centres on themes of fertility and renewal, both natural and cultural. The poet and translator Christopher Middleton wrote of The book of the Green Man "a remarkable piece of work. The surprise is this: he presents an image of England, or, to be precise, of sundry English scenes, with a vividness and a strangeness beyond the reach of any English poet, and unknown, I venture to say, since the days of Blake, Calvert and Palmer. Ronald Johnson has unearthed an England which most people have forgotten… his observation is microscopic, but his sense of place drills through to the mythic substrata.

 

Re-published on Colin Sackett's UniformBooks in 2015, this is the long-overdue 2022 reprint.

 

Size: 142 x 234mm

Pages: 96

Publisher: UniformBooks

The Book of the Green Man | Ronald Johnson