LIVING on the Isle of Wight proved the perfect inspiration for a new poetry book.

John Blythe Smart has published his works, Aspects of Poetry, which is available from the County Press office, and Waterstones, both in Newport.

The book showcases different genres and styles of poetry through the life cycle, using the author's own poems interspersed with favourite works by the great poets.

John has taken inspiration from the way author EM Forster provided examples of different styles of writing in his book Aspects of the Novel, and he paid tribute in the book's name.

He said: "Living on the IW is the perfect place for doing creative writing and poetry, since one is surrounded by the former homes of great Victorian writers and other creative people as well as its stunning landscapes.

"I was especially inspired by Tennyson at Farringford, Cameron and Watts in Freshwater Bay, Dickens, Swinburne and Stacpoole at Bonchurch and Keats at Shanklin.

"My book avoids contemporary poetry, which is as perplexing as some modern art, and my own poems use the traditional style of the great Victorian romantic poets while exploring the poetry of love, war, literature, history and travel and so forth.

"One of my favourite pieces is Ozymandius by Shelley which reminds one of ancient history such as the Long Stone at Mottistone, while my relative Colin Blythe, the Kent and England cricketer who died in the First World War, inspired my own trench memories about the very few thankful villages."

John's photography from around the world also features in the book.

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