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Pen and Palette Travelogue: Seeing the World while Dealing with a Lockdown

As the world adapts to changes and finds its way out of a pandemic, we cannot help but look for ways to amuse ourselves and fill in the holes left by not being able to go out as freely as we used to. Thanks to the arts, there is a plethora of resources that we can use to satisfy our cravings for the outdoors. Indeed, at times like this, art resources such as songs, movies and books become helpful outlets to get rid of boredom and let our imagination run wild.

While scouring the internet for books to read, I stumbled upon Pen and Palette Travelogue by Barbara Ker-Mann. Published in 2014, this book is an excellent collection of poems and artworks inspired by the author’s travels across the world.

From the bright mornings in Canada to those starry nights under the Wellington sky, this book offers a range of poems that aim to encapsulate readers’ hearts with its subtle yet piercing language. Each poem is also accompanied by an artwork made by the author herself. I enjoyed leafing through the pages and appreciating each artwork’s unique beauty as if they are postcards from those places I’ve been to.

While Pen and Palette Travelogue tells the author’s perspectives while traveling, it is not always beautiful and charming. In fact, some poems share the author’s fury over societal things that were present in a certain place. And I think that is the beauty of this book. It tells the many facets of traveling and the world as a whole—where not everything is just blitz and glamour. My personal favorites are the nature-themed poems written for Japan, as well as the poem for France written with rage and passion. So, if you are itching to see the world but are unable to because of the pandemic, Pen and Palette Travelogue is a recommended quarantine read.

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