poems by Martin Willitts Jr.
With the attention of a field botanist, Ethereal Flowers explores healing plants, plants in mythology, plants that inspired van Gogh paintings, plants that are poisonous, and plants discovered by Lewis and Clark. By honoring plants and trees, we honor the source of life, and we acknowledge that we are mutually connected, that the survival of one impacts the other. Poet Martin Willitts Jr. gets on his hands and knees to notice the detail of petals, pistils, leaf formation, lateral and bilateral stems, the smell of earth, the bees shuttling in the garden, unearthing a deeper meaning to plants, while planting them firmly in imagination.
NATURE / Plants / General
ISBN: 978-1-956056-81-5 (print; softcover; perfect bound
120 pages; 5 black-and-white illustrations from Curtis's Botanical Magazine
“This collection by prolific author Martin Willits Jr. brings together poems that do more than describe flowers and their healing properties. Trilliums inspire lust while coneflowers conspire. The author explores what it is to take on the properties of bitterroot, when plants are sated, and which ones may be studying him even while he watches them grow. The poems envision what Lewis and Clark might have seen, as well as offer mediation on human mortality in contrast to the rebirth gift of heirloom seeds. This book is full of lush imagery and surprise, sure to be a favorite of gardeners and lovers of nature poetry.” —Stacey Murphy, author of Old Stones Understand, 2021 Royal Dragonfly Winner
“The natural world sets the body/mind/soul coordinates in the truest way I know. Martin’s informed collection eloquently reminds the reader of this. Ethereal Flowers’ field guide format, along with its fusion of fact and wonder, make for an extraordinary wander.”
“Awakened we become in reading these poems of Martin Willitts Jr. Consider them a balm for the soul, the collection as a botanical guidebook. Read and study these poems for their knowledge, but do listen to their music, as their words often rise to a discovery left ringing in the mind.”
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