'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 30 September 2022

Review: And Everything Will be Glad To See You - Poems By Women And Girls

Sometimes an anthology of poems just hits a sweet spot. With its foreword, afterword, separate lists of poetry and poets, gorgeous tactile cloth bound cover, posh ribbon bookmark and adorably lush, sumptuous, immersive illustrations - not to mention poems by the bucketload - this book is truly a feast for the senses.

A delightful collection that will appeal to both long-time poetry afficionados and newbies, there’s something for everyone here. 

Old favourites such as Maya Angelou and Mary Oliver sit alongside fresh, exciting contemporary voices in Jackie Hosking and Amanda Gorman, among others. 

Then there are the delightful musings and flights of fancy from Hilary Ann Farley (aged 5) and Laura Ranger (aged 6). This book is a joy.

To wander into and out of poetry is itself a pleasure and perhaps, even, a little bit of a lost art. For instance, just savour the delight of this four-line poem by Elizabeth Hewer and see if it touches your soul or causes a moment’s reflection:

Sometimes, change

is just one girl with her fists clenched,

no longer willing

to be trodden on. 

Then, there’s Hosking’s wordplay - the pleasure of repeated lines changed just a little on each repetition, to evoke a quietly powerful meaning each time.

Where will she go? Murmurs the sand

However, whenever, Wherever she can.

And the timeless, ageless mystery of Mary Oliver in The Summer Day:

…Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

It might be the delight of rhyme, or

the surprise of no-rhyme.

Perhaps the rhythm and cadence of a quietly lilting, lullaby-like poem.

The caress of a mother’s soothing song.

The startlement of pointy words and



The magnificence of an all-girl cast in a poetry-world that very often seems (literally) man-made.

Bringing the wonder and gifts of poetry - which somehow lands us in the essence of ideas rather than lingering on the mechanics or fatness of them - this anthology is an homage to the tenacity and poetry of women and girls through time and place.

It’s a reminder that the words and intent of poems are often the most distinct and distilled version of truth that we can access both with our heads and our hearts.

And everything will indeed be glad to see you.

Title: And Everything Will Be Glad To See You – Poems By Women And Girls
Author/editor: Ella Risbridger
Illustrator: Anna Shepeta
Publisher: Allen and Unwin $39.99
Publication Date: 1 September 2022
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781788009218
For ages: 6 - 14
Type: Poetry