Jill so happy to be the girl in the window
It is a charming book of quite beautiful and very moving poems which will touch your heart ... and the Suffolk author is an inspiration to us all. Derek James opens the pages of The Girl in the Window.
The book of poems came through the letterbox and hit the floor. I opened the envelope and started to flick through the pages ... an hour later I put it down.
It was one of the most delightful poetry books I have ever read and it has been written by Jill Willens of East Bergholt, who is 83-yearsold and has a wonderful way with words.
She can be so proud of her first book and she says: “Historically we have had some good poets to remind ourselves of everyday life, feelings and experiences. But I hope my little book might be enjoyed by some who thought they would never like poetry.
“I particularly feel poetry should be accessible to everyone; the language not too obscure. I think it’s nice if the reader can say ‘oh yes, that’s just how I felt’ or that ‘brings back memories’,” says Jill. Her book certainly does that. So how did it come about? “Poetry has always been my hobby. My children encouraged me to think about compiling my poems as a memento for the family. The idea quickly escalated into a proper book,” she adds.
“My husband is 91 and I felt I didn’t have time to approach endless editors for publication so decided to self-publish. There was a lot of back and forth with the scripts as I was my own meticulous proof reader and also trying to understand printing and distribution,” explains Jill.
She grew up in Woodford Green and was five when the war started.
“I can remember waiting for convoys to pass before we could
cross the road to school and picking up shrapnel to compare with the other kids.
“I had no idea what it was all about until one day a stray bomb just missed a local school and I saw my father crying with relief when he realised we were safe,” she recalls.
In the 1950s Jill, her husband, and her family moved to New Zealand where her love of writing and poetry blossomed and she joined a creative writing class.
She wrote quite a few poems inspired by her young children and New Zealand but always hoped that one day she would return to England ... and in 1966 they did just that and moved to Suffolk.
“Since returning to England the beauty of nature and landscape has continued to be so inspiring but, of course, also reminiscing and contemplating on situations of everyday life, feelings and experiences,” adds Jill.
Her book offers more than 100 poems arranged in nine themed sections including nature, children, life, countryside, humour, reflections, legends, fantasy and family. There are also some delightful little illustrations.
Reflecting on everyday life and experiences it will make you smile, reminisce, appreciate and contemplate life.
Now, where did I get to in the book ...
The Girl in the Window by Jill Nina Willens costs £ 8.99 and is available from Jill at jillwillens34@ gmail.com or online from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles, Book Depository and Readings.
Jill Willens, author of a book of poems, The Girl in the Window.
Jill Willens with her book The Girl in the Window.