(Video link here.)   In the first 50 seconds of this video, Robert Macfarlane reads one of the “spells” he wrote for his remarkable book, The Lost Words. In collaboration with artist Jackie Morris, he rekindles the magic of words from the natural world that have been disappearing from our daily language. Words like bramble, acorn and kingfisher that evoke “the rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds.” This book, however is not just for children. Read along with MacFarlane and you’ll see why…

from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

Macfarlane has long been a collector of disappearing words. In Landmarks, Macfarlane compiled evocative words from 30 languages, dialects and sub-dialects around Britain and Ireland that describe aspects of weather, nature and terrain — words like  ‘zawn’ (a wave-smashed chasm in a sea cliff) and the Gaelic phrase ‘rionnach maoim’ (the shadows that clouds cast on moorland on a windy day.)

 

from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

He writes:

Once upon a time words began to vanish from the language of children…The words were those that children used to name the natural world around them…You hold in your hands a spellbook for conjuring back these lost words…It deals in things that are missing and things that are hidden, in absences and appearances…

…it holds not poems but spells of many kinds that might just, by the old, strong magic of being spoken aloud, unfold dreams and songs, and summon lost words back into the mouth and the mind’s eye.

from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

Reading Kingfisher aloud we found ourselves transported to a wild, internal natural landscape we didn’t realize was there.

from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

The Lost Words is high on our list of gift books this holiday season.

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2 replies on “The Lost Words’ Evoke Our Wild Landscape

  1. How very enchanting!! I,too, remember when……….

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