A Review of Taste The Wild Wonder by John Mark Green (review written by Liz Newman)
I am honored to be able to bring you this pre-release review of John Mark Green’s upcoming poetry collection Taste The Wild Wonder.
My first impression of this book is how spot-on the title is. The poems frequently reflect on the immensity of the universe in sensational imagery and detail. It fills you with awe and amazement and provides much-needed inspiration and perspective. It reminds us how beautiful our everyday lives can be when we look around at the galaxies of promise that surround us each and every day.
The collection begins with a poem entitled “No Other Miracle” which reads:
“Out of the void and vastness
of the cosmos, life emerges;
You and I are here.
No other miracle is needed.”
This is a perfect example of Green’s talent: he packs such a profound message in such a short piece. We are here. We matter. We were created from nothing, and we are already extraordinary and miraculous with our mere existence. It’s such an inspirational piece that reminds us how truly special it is to be here, to be human, to get this chance to make our mark on the world.
This book uses subjects such as the stars, wildlife, nature, and the universe to encapsulate the human experience. They serve as symbols of the love, pain, confusion, happiness, and heartbreak that we all feel in our trips around the sun.
One of my absolute favorites is a poem called Yūgen, which reads:
“Our breakable hearts,
a double helix;
between the aching beauty
and inevitable sadness
of this fragile,
I thought this was such a beautiful way to describe the vulnerability of being human and experiencing love, loss, and everything in between. This poem acknowledges the extremes of life and the inevitable highs and lows we are bound to feel while still showing such a deep appreciation for the experience all the same.
Throughout this collection, you’ll also find some truly lovely illustrations that complement the subject matter perfectly and tie everything together. John Mark Green’s work is full of wisdom, as it dances between the topics of pain and love, of awe and overwhelming appreciation. His poems reflect on the past while also motivating the reader to look bravely out into the immensity of what our future can be, of who we can be.
“Rusty Eyes” is another favorite of mine, which reads:
“Scrape away the rust
from these jaded eyes
and let me see again
the wild wonder of life;
to know in joy and pain
what a miracle it is
to feel anything at all.
Let me not forget this
before the curtain falls—
to be furiously passionate,
compassionate and curious.
A human, who is truly alive.”
This piece is an amazing illustration of the human experience and the importance of truly living our lives to the fullest in passion and clarity.
Green’s work is humbling as it weaves beautiful imagery about the universe and our role in it. He reminds us how truly incredible it is for us to be here: for us to fight through the bad times and to bask in the warmth of the good ones. He reminds us how delicate we are, yet how strong and resilient the human spirit is.
The book does a great job of showing appreciation for nature, the wild, and the universe while also instilling wonder in our hearts and reminding us that we have a role in this massive universe: that makes us awe-inspiring as well. We can light the skies of our days with the way we live. We can evoke awe and tenderness in the hearts of others with the way we love.
Taste The Wild Wonder has delighted my heart with its poetic wisdom and awe-inspiring imagery. It was a joy to read, a shooting star across the sky of those who are looking to heal, to grow, and to find the light and the hope in their lives again. Well done.