poetry friday

All Things Bright and Beautiful, poetry by Cecil Frances Alexander, artwork by Ashley Bryan

A profusion of tulips exploding into color.  The trickling flutey song of a wood thrush.  The brilliant plumage of a painted bunting.  A morning sky, awash with rosy light.  Raspberries and eggplants, rushing rapids and quiet pools, irridescent dragonflies and muscular, sinuous, striped tigers…

The world is a storehouse of wonders.  Irish hymn writer Cecil Frances Alexander must have delighted in them, as she wrote the verses to this hymn which is sung around the world.  Now, uber-talented artist Ashley Bryan has illustrated the hymn in his astonishing cut-paper collages. 

Tropical sherbet  colors burst from these pages, crowded with hundreds of bright, beautiful, great, small, wise and wonderful creatures!  The exuberance of Bryan’s colors, the motion in his lines, the gorgeous graphic design of the pages, all make this book a delicious treat.  Beyond that, I love the multicultural children celebrating the handiwork of God.  And there’s a nice little biographical note about Alexander as well.

Bryan is a multiple award-winning author and artist, and such a fascinating person.  Wouldn’t I love to meet him and watch him at work!  You can view some illuminating, and very insightful, video interview clips with him, read a short bio, and see some of his other books you’ll want to check out, courtesy of Reading Rockets, by clicking here.

Meanwhile, enjoy the poetry of Alexander:

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.


Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning
That brightens up the sky,

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them ev’ry one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Amazon link:  All Things Bright and Beautiful