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“Deliberately obscure and rambling abstractions are not the stuff of these poems. Simple images, vivid, yet grounded in the everyday, an unhurried pace, a warm and confiding tone, often gently ironic, a quiet humour, serve to illustrate a lifetime of observation.

Down to Earth never loses touch with those seemingly insignificant moments that compose a human life, in all its transience.” — Christina Manolescu

“Many who have lost faith with poets feel baffled, angry and cheated. Not so with this book.” LE CITOYEN DE ST-LAMBERT

“Like a big old sweater on a brisk winter eve.” DANDELION

Margot Laing in Dandelion, Vol. 14, No. 1:

“After plodding through hundreds of poetry chapbooks for this issue’s reviews, it was refreshing to read ‘words’ that are grounded in plainness, and steady – almost like a big old sweater donned on a brisk winter eve.”


Review by Joan Eyolfson Cadham, freelance journalist and author:

“Life is full of little rituals we perform –

meaningless to everyone

but ourselves.”

–From “Colour Psychology”

In Down to Earth, Judith Isherwood examines our little rituals in provocative new ways. Her ability to translate her immediate world into clearly defined images has resulted in a book that proves good poetry need not be obscure and unreachable.

“I tried to simplify

by taking people

at face value.”

–From “Irony”

The reader is welcome to take Isherwood’s poems at face value. They are simple, gentle, filled with quiet humour. However, the reader is also welcome to look deeper, to probe a little, to examine the universal truths captured in 46 highly accessible poems.

“…the angels … see the world spinning so steadily

that its people know what time it is

without even looking at the clock…”

–From “Temporary”

Down to Earth‘s 64 pages are filled with observations by a writer who combines the practicality of a wife/parent/student/teacher/community member with the soul of a poet.

“Why is it that men keep inventing … marvels

which turn them more inward,

away from others?

Just suppose, women were the inventors.

What would they come up with?

Two cozy chairs, a pot of tea,

a blanket for two on the beach,

an old canoe on a lazy creek,

a patch of green on a summer day?”

–From “Shells”

Isherwood’s book is as comfortable as a cozy chair and as satisfying and as memorable as Earl Grey served with a twist of lemon in a translucent china cup.

“Down to earth

Stubborn, tenacious as honeysuckle roots

Sensitive as dandelion fluff

Tough as old wisteria

But, oh, to sway with the tides

like seaweed in the creek?”

–From “Earth Child”

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