What the Wild Replied:
Poems from Human Nature
by Becky Hemsley
Publisher: Wildmark Publishing
Release Date: September 20, 2022
From the publisher:
What the Wild Replied is the second poetry collection from Becky Hemsley, author of popular poem ‘Breathe’ which featured in her first book ‘Talking to the Wild’.
What the Wild Replied takes us through the four seasons from the perspective of human nature. It looks at how we navigate our own winters and embrace our own summers, how we let go during our own autumns and seize the opportunities of our own springtime. It includes poems of hope, healing and help. Designed as a manual for our soul in every season – and every stage – of our life, What the Wild Replied has one main theme; to help us love, understand, forgive and be kind to ourselves and to others. Life can be difficult and overwhelming sometimes, but What the Wild Replied reminds us that we’ve got this. We are enough.
Becky Hemsley took the internet by storm a year ago with her poem Breathe. She spoke for so many of us. It was as if she saw to the deepest depths of our beings. I read it and I printed it out for my scrapbook. It was me!! I found her on social media and followed her. I have been following her since then.
She published her first volume of poetry “Talking to The Wild” and it was a bestseller. She published a second volume in September of 2022 “What the Wild Replied”. I have both volumes. Both are most excellent. She does spoken versions as well on Facebook and TikTok.
“We all have our sunny days and our storms. We all know what it’s like for things to feel a little dark and we enjoy those times when things feel light and bright. We grow, we rest, we let go and we reap what we sow. Just as the world around us does.” (Hemsley, Becky. What the Wild Replied: Poems from Human Nature)
She explains that in this book, she has done some requests – “After my first book, I started posting and reciting many of my poems on social media and I began to get requests for topics to write about. Some have been quite general (a poem about navigating the teenage years for example) and some were very specific. Where there have been specific requests, I have included a note before the poems as they appear in this book. Whilst general poems tend to be more self-explanatory (you’ll know the teenage years poem as soon as you read it), others could be a little confusing without context, hence the explanations.” (Hemsley, Becky. What the Wild Replied: Poems from Human Nature)
The contents of this book are divided into four seasons – winter, spring, summer, and autumn – not necessarily as they progress outside your window but more as they progress in your life. As humans, we are as cyclical in nature as our Earth Mother is and just as unpredictable at times. You may be going through a time of winter while someone else is enjoying a summery interlude. Well, so it is with the Earth also. Different locales have different weather. Variety is the spice of life – like a child with a 64-color box of Crayola crayons – who knows what she is going to color next? So it is with life sometimes. I think you will find something in each and every section of Becky’s book that speaks directly to YOU.
She also has the most wonderful black-and-white photographs and line drawings that accompany her poetry. There are also some color pictures.
storms, cold, bleakness, darkness, persevering, challenges, resting, grief
Requests in this section:
Poems for: anxiety/worry, healing from trauma, post-natal depression, domestic abuse/violence, to comfort someone with stage 4 cancer and bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, losing a loved one to addiction
new beginnings, discoveries, breakthroughs, hope, making way, emerging, progress, trusting, overcoming
Poems for: those affected the war in Ukraine, poems written during the Covid lock down
Request in this section: baptism/christening/ baby shower
bright, thriving, confidence, full realisation, reaping rewards, celebrating, embracing
This is only a part of the poem “English Rose”:
“she was an English rose they said
with beauty quite unmatched
but when they looked more closely
they were quite taken aback
for they were met with two sides –
fragile petals, wild thorns
half gentleness and daintiness
half hurricanes and storms
but what they didn’t realise
was her thorns were only there
to stand as her protection
against those who didn’t care”
(Hemsley, Becky. What the Wild Replied: Poems from Human Nature)
and this is an excerpt from “Writing History”
“when Rosa Parks refused to move
how much did she weigh?
how tall was Rosalind Franklin
when she studied DNA?
when Emmeline Pankhurst died
did people talk about her hair?
and when Amelia Earhart flew
what make-up did she wear?
what size were Mary Seacole’s clothes
the day she went to war?
is Marie Curie’s face the thing
that she’s most famous for?
when Ruby Bridges walked to school,
when Anne Frank wrote her life,
when we watched the constant courage
of Malala Yousafzai
the world was being changed
by every step and every word
by each and every action
that ensured those words were heard”
(Hemsley, Becky. What the Wild Replied: Poems from Human Nature).
Someone requested a follow-up to a poem from the first book called ‘Inside Story’ about a book that was loved only for its beautiful story. Also requested was a love story between a wolf and a rabbit. There is a poem written for the England Lionesses, the English Football (soccer) team before a European tournament.
letting go, change, preparing, slowing down, acceptance, moving on, loss, reflecting
Requests: Grief, pet loss, a poem about a soldier’s guilt upon returning from service having lost fellow soldiers in the field
This chapter has a lot about grieving, about letting go but it isn’t all sadness. This is a part of the poem ‘Wild’:
“you’re a wildflower darling
you cannot be tamed
they recognise your beauty
though they do not know your name
you sing a song of sunshine,
befriend butterflies and bees
you dance amongst the grasses
and you sleep beneath the trees
you’re bright but unassuming
you are delicate yet tough
you’re rooted but you’re ready
for when winds of change do come
and they meet you in the forest
and they’ll marvel at the way
you remind them of their childhood
and easy, carefree days”
(Hemsley, Becky. What the Wild Replied: Poems from Human Nature)
To sum it up, I would say that she covers just about every emotion! If you have not discovered Becky Hemsley’s poetry, do yourself a favor and go to your bookseller and buy a volume. “Talking to the Wild” and “What the Wild Replied” are both available and both are excellent. They are available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book version. As I have the e-book version, I can say it is very affordable. I plan to get the paperback of both books.
About the author:
In her own words:
“Hi I’m Becky! I have been writing poetry for years now, but only last year did I become brave enough to start sharing it with people (I’d shared it before that but only anonymously or with friends and family – who feel obliged to say they like it regardless!) I live in Leicestershire, UK with my husband, our two boys and our very old dog – a beagle called Misty. I used to be a primary school teacher and still enjoy delivering poetry writing workshops in schools across the country. I adore dancing and singing along to musical theatre soundtracks at the top of my voice on long car journeys (other passengers don’t love this so much). My favourite thing to do is to create memories with the people that mean the most to me and my favourite season is Autumn because it gives me an excuse to wear chunky knits, drink too many take-away cappuccinos and make my house smell of orange and cinnamon. Maybe this is because I’m a very late-August baby and so life began in Autumn for me! This is my second book. My first book ‘Talking to the Wild’ is available on Amazon worldwide or on my Etsy store (also available worldwide). Future projects include more writing (of course), audio books/ audio recordings of both my books, more products (prints, postcards, notebooks, calendars etc), a children’s book of the poem ‘Breathe’, school workshops and the launch of my YouTube channel where I am hoping to have my poems animated. I am always available through the channels listed at the beginning of the book and this is where there will be updates of any new projects, collaborations etc. Come and say hi! And finally… THANK YOU for being a part of this incredible journey with me! Your support is beyond appreciated. Becky x”
If there is anything in particular you would like to hear from me, you can find – and contact – me at the following places:
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Becky Hemsley – Talking to the Wild
Tik Tok: @talkingtothewild
Pinterest: Becky Hemsley
Etsy Shop: Talking to the Wild
About the Author:
Katy Ravensong is a practicing green witch in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. She was raised here where she ran barefoot & free. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, voracious reader, crocheter, and amateur herbalist. She glories in the freedom that comes with being a Crone ~ when she is gone, she will not be known as a woman who could keep her mouth shut! She is disabled, yet tries to make disability work for her. She is an advocate for human rights. She is Dean of Wortcunning and Assistant Dean of Natural Philosophy at The Grey School of Wizardry. She has studied with various herbal teachers, with Witch School International, with Avalonian Institute of Metaphysical Arts, and is a priestess with the Sisters of Earthsong, Order of the White Moon. Her poetry has been featured in several publications including ‘Pagan Poetry for the Festivals and Seasons’ by Wyrdwood Publications edited by Edain Duguay, 2008. Her favorite quote is from Emily Dickinson “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.”