Arundel-based publisher Sandra Saer said she had put the collection together as a “loving tribute” to Sir Patrick “in thanks for our friendship over the years.”
She said there was something perfectly Patrick about the poems.
“The poems are interesting, short and very funny and completely characteristic of him. It could only be Patrick writing these poems. He is in every line, all those wonderful attributes that he has. He is so good at entertaining people and has a wonderful sense of humour. It is all embedded in those poems, and to me that is the most important thing - he is them!”
Sandra added: “The story goes back a long time when I was working at the BBC promoting their books and I met Patrick. We are going back decades! I promoted two of his Sky At Night books and then we lost touch.”
Contact was resumed some years later, with Sandra invited to Sir Patrick’s Selsey home which is where he produced the poems which had been written many years before.
Sir Patrick had been out in his garden with the two young children of friends who were staying with him. They watched a frog leaping about, and the girl of six and boy of five asked him to write a poem about it.
The children loved it and Sir Patrick was challenged to write more. But the poems then lay for years undisturbed in a drawer, until Patrick suddenly produced them and gave them to Sandra - humorous poems in the Edward Lear tradition.
The pieces are about birds and animals, given human characteristics including the Weasel gifted with paintbursh and easel and the Eel who loves to dance the Highland Reel.
“It was wonderful when he produced them. I just could not stop reading them!” Sandra said.
Within The Glade, will be published on June 27 at £9.50 in softcover, with 23 cartoons drawn by Euan Dunn, director of Marine Policy at the RSPB. ISBN: 978-0-9568591-0-5