I really did enjoy it, very easy to read and lots of lovely little stories.
It is a book I cannot say I have finished because I'll keep picking it up to read and enjoy different parts over again.
About To Marloes With Love…
My first offering of poems and songs owes a great deal to the Pembrokeshire coast of West Wales: I live very close to The Sea, and it constantly inspires me.
Amusing or thought-provoking, silly or sad, simple couplet or fireside short story, every one of these “tales told in verse” is suitable for a family audience – and I hope that readers young or old will gain extra enjoyment from my drawings, which accompany the bookʼs rhymes and rhythms throughout: wherever you open this book, you will find a picture.
I strongly believe in participation: the more we get involved in anything, the more we enjoy ourselves. I hope that, whatever their age, whoever owns a copy of To Marloes, With Love should make it truly theirs – and always theirs – by transforming every one of my ink and pencil sketches into colourful works of art.
Notice to parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/family friends...: having all those poems to read and all those pictures to work on makes To Marloes, With Love an excellent WET WEATHER BOOK!
As anyone who has read his debut novel A Summer Break will have recognised, Christopher Jessop has both a poet’s sensibility and a deep love of the Pembrokeshire coast. So it comes as no surprise that his latest book is a collection of poems (plus a few songs), many of them inspired by the sea and by the Dale Peninsula where he lives.
Beautifully produced, this book not only contains nearly eighty poems and half a dozen original songs, it is also packed with the author’s own evocative illustrations – which readers are encouraged to colour in. Many of these illustrations have decidedly ‘retro’ feel – the sort of line drawings that might have accompanied a classic Enid Blyton or Arthur Ransome adventure tale of the 1930s. And as such they perfectly compliment the poetry which in its subject matter – steam trains, tugboats, rusty Russian freighters – often seems to hark back to the storytelling verse of poets such as Masefield, Betjeman, and Walter de la Mare.
Naturally enough the Haven, the sea, and the Pembrokeshire coast all figure significantly in this collection. There are ballads about historic seafarers along the shores – Viking raiders, Henry Tudor, coastal trading vessels – as well as poems on more contemporary themes such as beachcombing, the life of the Coastguard, and checking the yacht moorings in the mud of The Gann.
Other poems are more personal, the author’s response to the scenery, storms, and wildlife encountered on this wild westerly Peninsula, observed and depicted with a painter’s eye. Still others, amusing sketches of local characters and events, verge deliberately on the doggerel, while several of the poems are highly rhythmical – written to be read aloud, perhaps by more than one voice around a winter’s fireside. From here it's just a short step to turning a handful of the poems into fully-scored songs, which the author has done with a little help from his musical friends in the Dale Amateur Dramatic Society.
Keith Johnson PEMBROKESHIRE LIFE, July 2016
I enjoy poetry, but I was somewhat unsure that I could read through a whole book; so I opened Chris Jessop’s latest book “To Marloes, With Love” a little reluctantly.
I need not have worried. The songs and poems cover a wide range from lyrical to tongue-in-cheek to straightforward funny. They paint pictures in your mind as poetry should and are strongly rooted in place and time. But this book does more!
The illustrations enhance the poetry and the author hopes that the reader will be inspired to colour in or paint the line drawings. Further fun can be had by joining the songs with the music printed at the end of the book.
If you thought poetry was boring, this multi-faceted book will change your mind. There is something for everyone both young and old. It is well worth buying. Now – where did I put my watercolour paints and brushes?
Jean Lewis PENINSULA PAPERS, Summer 2016